Learning is not different for boys

Alistair McConville, Director of Teaching and Learning at Bedales School writes in The Times, 13/01/13 about learning differences between boys and girls.

PERHAPS Tony Little, head master of Eton College, should consider a refresher course in neuroscience (“Finding the lost boys”, News Review, last week). Through the Bedales School partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, we have learnt that the minimal biological differences between boys’ and girls’ brains are almost irrelevant to learning.

The 2007 publication Understanding the Brain: The Birth of a Learning Science identifies the notion that males have substantively different learning brains from females as a “neuromyth”.

Educational psychology shows learning undertaken to gain rewards, or to win prizes, is less likely to develop genuine inquisitiveness and sustained engagement than learning motivated by intrinsic interest. It is in part the perpetuation of such myths that causes boys to conform to type and academic underperformance.

Alistair McConville, Director of Teaching and Learning, Bedales School

Click here to read the letter © The Times.