Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Why Gender Matters

Sax, L. (2005). Why gender matters. New York: Random House.

I found this to be a fascinating account of the differences in gender between young people. I was initially drawn to the book not necessarily for teaching purposes, but because I am a father of 2 young children of different genders. After reading Sax’s book I am happy to report that virtually everything that he describes as being a significant difference in the genders is clearly evident in my two children. The book is very relevant to one of the sections of my action research project because this section is focused on how gender affects student levels of participation in the class. I found the section on the different levels of hearing in genders useful. The examination of the risks that the different genders take in certain situations was also well written and very useful to my project.

“Girls and boys assess risk differently, and they differ in their likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors. As soon as kids are old enough to toddle across the floor, boys are significantly more likely to do something dangerous: put fingers in a socket, try to stand on a basketball, jump off a chair onto the floor” (42).

“The gender difference in hearing also suggest different strategies for the classroom” (18).

“Girls are more comfortable asking the teacher for help when they need it…not so with boys” (87).

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