Monday 2 November 2009

How Boys and Girls Learn Differently and What to Do About It

Updated 18 February 2012

These tips come from a workshop given by Lucrecia Rodriguez in Lima, Peru in 2008. You can find more tips at teaching boys and girls.

Catering to Girls

  • Give extra encouragement when they do spatial activities like computer design.
  • Let girls manipulate objects, build, design, and calculate.
  • Use water and sand tables in science.
  • Use puzzles to help with visual perception.
  • Set up spatial lessons in groups to encourage discussion.
  • Form groups and teams to promote leadership roles and negotiation skills.
  • Play physical games to help develop gross motor skills.
  • Encourage the quieter girls.
  • The work environment should be clean, tidy, and well-lit.
  • Put up pictures and posters.
  • Take photos of girls completing tasks successfully.

Catering to Boys
  • Make lessons experiential and kinesthetic. Allow for movement and noise.
  • Give them breaks to stand up, stretch, and walk around.
  • Give boys chores, such as sharpening pencils, helping the teacher, handing out papers, etc.
  • Allow them to play with clay, crayons, or doodle while listening.
  • Use bead work, blocks, legos and other manipulatives to encourage fine motor skills.
  • Keep verbal instructions short. Use pictures, graphs, and diagrams when explaining.
  • Use male mentors and role models.
  • Allow boys to be a bit disorganised. Arrange tables and chairs further apart so that they have their own space.
  • Increase computer based education.
  • Use intellectual competition, such as math, spelling, or geography contests.
  • Read more non-fiction in class. Boys like facts and information.


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