Girls Becoming Smarter Than BoysFrom University of Florida:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Thirty years ago, boys, not girls, were the high performers in schools. Today, test scores, grades and dropout rates show boys are achieving at levels far below girls, and an international study that includes the University of Florida is yielding insights that may explain why.
In the United States, girls capture more academic honors, outscore boys in reading and writing, and score about as well on math at the fourth- , eighth- and 12th-grade levels on the National Assessment for Educational Progress exam. Internationally, fourth-grade girls significantly outperformed boys in the eight leading industrialized nations that took part in the 2001 Progress in International Literacy Study. And 15-year-old boys have been surpassed by 15-year-old girls among the 28 countries involved in the 2000 Program for International Student Assessment.
“Brain research has shown differences in male and female brains that can affect preferred learning styles and communication,” says Mary Ann Clark, UF associate professor of counselor education and principal investigator. “It has been suggested that public school curriculum may not be teaching ‘to the boys’ and that teaching styles are more suitable for girls.”
Clark says although the study is still in progress, one major issue already has become clear: the need for awareness of the special needs of students with regard to gender. Many “school success skills” such as compliance and organization seem to be more easily applied to girls, says Clark, adding that teachers, administrators, school counselors and even parents should be trained in strategies for providing a positive view of learning and studying that targets all students.
University of Florida News - UF study explores why boys are falling behind girls in school