Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Girls will be Girls

I typically spend a lot of my free time reading, usually about Montessori or other related education books. However, I've started reading this book, Girls will be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters by JoAnn Deak. It's fascinating. She explains the distinct difference in the core neurological system between males and females, and relates that information to the way we should teach our boys and girls for optimal brain growth and retention. It's amazing how "typically", girls will venture toward the language area and boys will find interest in building and constructing. Deak states,

"For optimal lifelong neurological balancing and growth, girls generally need to spend a lot of time in the block corner and boys need to spend a lot of time in the writing/drawing corner. Provided in an enjoyable way, these early against-the-grain gender experiences help create a well-balanced brain that is better equipped to handle the range of tasks and challenges the brain will have to contend with all through life."

As a teacher and parent, I do notice the majority of girls showing a great deal of interest in the Language area. The author does mention that approximately 20% of girls' brains have male-differentiated predispositions. Simply put, 20% of girls will prefer blocks to drawing. "Follow the child" is the cornerstone of Montessori education. I just wonder if we need to focus more on what the child does not choose in order to give each child's brain an equal opportunity for later success in life. Once this blog starts getting some followers, I'd love to hear your experiences with gender-related neurological predispositions in the classroom or at home.


  1. Now that both my kids have started playing together for more than 10 minutes, I have noticed that the girl wants to pick more complicated intricate challenges whereas the boy prefers the more simplistic yet noisy ones.

    Even when they watch the same program on tv or read the same book, the girl retains the more emotional part of the story whereas the boy will keep repeating the "thrill" aspect of the story!