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This INSET weaves together the brain science with child and adolescent development to develop whole school and classroom strategies that are both effective and easily applicable.
But why does the subject of gender differences continue to be so controversial…?
…Real-life observations demonstrate clear examples such as the fact that insurers quote higher premiums when young men apply for car insurance; most lower sets and special needs groups in school are boy-heavy; around 60% of high-achieving women turn down promotions in the workplace or take positions with lower pay to weave more flexibility into their work life etc etc…
Forty years of discounting biology has brought us to a strange and discomforting place – but actually equality never meant ‘sameness’ – what it was really all about was equity of opportunity – and that’s different. So perhaps these factors are not evidence of hidden prejudices but more a case of looking at the science to form a nuanced understanding of gender differences that reveals certain traits, and pinpoints exactly where we might direct our efforts for change
Research on Gender Differences in the Brain
The research on gender differences in the brain has been expanded recently by Simon Baron-Cohen from Cambridge University. His work suggests that most differences arise from biological rather than cultural causes. Whilst clearly it is a broad gender spectrum with a fair amount of overlap, the theory provides a rationale for what we do and why something may not be working and, crucially, it also gives us a set of ideas for decision-making.
Who is this INSET for?
This INSET examines a range of ideas of benefit to both teachers and students in ensuring that we support ALL our students in achieving their best possible outcomes.
An overview of the neuroscience
Learning and behavioural characteristics
Nature v. nurture?
How differences in nurturing can impact on learning
Building effective student: teacher relationships
What you say versus what they hear
Vital questions to ask a) across the whole school and b) departmentally
Are there any differences in achievement between the genders?
– at certain key stages?
– in certain subjects?
– in certain aspects (e.g. writing) within-subjects?