The TES is reporting comments from Tim Oates that tackling boys’ underachievement by teaching them differently from girls is “absolutely wrong”.
Mr Oates, research director for the Cambridge Assessment exams group, said that offering boys and girls different styles of learning was misguided. Learning strategies generally given to girls had been proven to work just as well with boys, he added.
Speaking at a conference on gender differences, Mr Oates said that only by studying which learning strategies worked and making them available to both sexes could we reduce the disparity between boys’ and girls’ achievement…
“A number of people have said that, because we have such a large problem with under-attaining boys, we have to have boy-friendly pedagogy in schools,” Mr Oates said.
“The kind of strategies that girls use – ‘I’m not innately good at this, so therefore I have to work hard’ – have been empirically shown to benefit boys as well, so it’s actually through the examination of what optimises attainment and making it available to all groups by which we will reduce these differences…”
So are boys doing less well in schools because currently they are being taught differently to girls?
That seems a pretty big call or am I misunderstanding what Tim Oates is getting at?
What do you think? Are there ways that boys can respond differently to learning and times when a different approach could help them, or should all children be treated the same, regardless of sex?
Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…
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