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ERIC Number: EJ971278
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1784
The Myth of Pink and Blue Brains
Eliot, Lise
Educational Leadership, v68 n3 p32-36 Nov 2010
Eliot, a neuroscientist who has analyzed gender differences in children's brains, asserts that--contrary to the widely held idea that boys' and girls' brains are hardwired differently--few differences exist in the neural structures and neurochemistry of boys' and girls' brains. Actual ability differences between the genders are quite small as well. However, there are striking and stable gender gaps in academic performance; girls reliably outperform boys in reading and boys outscore girls in math on standardized tests. These achievement gaps, which begin as small, innate differences between the genders, become magnified primarily for two reasons: (1) parents and teachers treat boys and girls differently (because of gender-based stereotypes); and (2) boys and girls pursue separate interests that hone different skills that prepare them to excel in different areas once they start formal schooling. Eliot cautions that current beliefs about hardwired differences are reinforcing both stereotyped treatment and gender bias--and preventing both boys and girls from reaching their potential in reading, math, science, and all fields. She suggests seven concrete ways that teachers can reduce achievement gaps between boys and girls while still recognizing gender-tied differences in interests and behavior. (Contains 1 endnote.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress; Program for International Student Assessment