Boys learn differently from girls

Merchiston Castle School: boys learn differently from girls

Research evidence shows that:

  • boys tend to extract information from context while girls tend to pay attention to context in a study or problem
  • in considering a moral reasoning, or other problem solving, boys tend to take analytical rule-based approaches,  while girls tend to take a holistic approach and emphasise empathy
  • boys tend to be more hasty, impulsive and willing to take risks, while girls exercise more care and deliberation
  • boys tend to attribute successes to their own efforts and failures to external factors, while girls show the reverse; the perception of failure may inhibit subsequent performance
  • interaction amongst boys, including their conversation, is marked by competition, while girls appear to prefer to work in cooperation

Furthermore, research indicates that boys do well if:

  • their teachers have good subject knowledge and display this enthusiastically and with a good sense of humour
  • their teachers set clear limits and have high expectations of them
  • they are set short-term tasks which can be tackled in stages
  • their teachers provide prompt, detailed and constructive feedback when marking their work
  • they are not afraid to make mistakes
  • there is a non-macho culture of learning
  • they feel valued by an ethos that celebrates achievement
  • a strong sense of community exists

As a School, we provide regular in-service training for all staff on Learning and Teaching techniques which are most effective for boys and young men.  Merchiston is a member of the International Boys’ Schools’ Coalition (ISBC) and over recent years we have welcomed several visiting speakers, including Michael Thompson, Leonard Sax and Abigail Norfleet James, who have supplemented our training in this vital area.

Further reading:

Empowering Learners 22012017

Record of HMI Visit – Quality Improvement Through Professional Engagement [pdf]

Why a School for Boys?


Boys’ School Coalition


Translate »