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Elementary Education And Gender: Do Boys And Girls Learn Differently?

1678 words - 7 pages

Introduction
Boys and girls learn differently, this is something everyone is an elementary school classroom and everyone who plans on teaching knows that. Teachers strive to help their students in any way possible and current research indicates that this should include accommodating for the gender of your student. According to Ponitz et al. (2009), “…the first 2 years of elementary school have been characterized as a ‘critical period’ in early development.” The first few years of elementary school is when children start developing ideas of what school is, that is why this paper focuses on gender differences in elementary school children. This paper will be broken into several sections general learning, physical/cognitive, social, reading, math, and science, each section will discuss the journal articles written since 2009 in that field.
General Learning
Logan et al. (2009) claims that it is likely that girls feel more positively about the entire school experience due to the fact that the education system has been feminized, leading to an unintentional bias in favor of girls. Watson et al. (2010) says that, boys and girls have a certain set of fixed characteristics that determine who they are and their natural interests and behaviors. These qualities are what define boys and girls as masculine and feminine, and are understood to be important, in fact, likelihood for education success rests on the acknowledgement and accommodation for these qualities. (Watson, Kehler, & Martino, 2010) Logan et al. (2009) points out, the rules and restrictions in place in a school setting are not conducive the nature of boys; good students are meant to listen, sit still and quiet, watch the teacher/presenter for extended periods of time, and be good group members. Logan et al. (2009), Edwards-Omolewa (2011), and Ponitz et al. (2009) agree that, the majority of these traits are directly opposed to the nature of boys and for the nature of girls who generally adopt the values of the authoritative figure they are with much more quickly. Additionally, it takes boys longer to adjust to a new classroom, especially in the first grade, and specifically when it comes to following directions and working independently. (Ponitz, Rimm-Kaufman, Brock, & Nathanson, 2009)
Sullivan et al. (2012) found that girls and boys show similarly amounts of aggressive, but girls are more relational (social) about it and boys are more overt (obvious and outright). Agreeing with Sullivan et al. (2012), Logan et al. (2009, 2010) and Ponitz et al. (2009) found that boys are more frequently caught being aggressive or disruptive. Also, boys are four times less likely to do their homework and five times more likely to be classified as hyperactive. (Logan & Johnston, 2009) (Ricks, 2011) Lack of homework added to the hyperactivity, and the above mentioned disruptive behaviors, boys are scolded more frequently in the classroom giving them a negative connotation to the entire school experience. (Logan &...

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