Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Site for Boys and Reading

An interesting article including an interview with the founder for a new website:  We need to link those with a passion and expertise for this topic together and make something happen!

BPA, Mice, and Behavior - PBS Reporting

A study ( on the impact of BPA on mice, particularly male mice.  Clearly there is something going on here beyond stereotypes.  It is chemical.  But, we can't jump to the conclusion that the same is happening in humans.

The PBS report has a short interview with the researcher who led the study. 

From that interview:

And how does the maze relate to BPA exposure?
When these mice are sexually mature, their brains undergo significant remodeling that allows them to exhibit certain behaviors – like increased spatial-navigational skills in males. In humans, too, men tend to have a better ability than girls to locate in their environment – to know where they are in their environment, to remember where things are and where to find them. So when the males got to adulthood, we started them on behavioral testing in a maze that is well-recognized to test this ability. There are several holes and only one leads to the home cage. Non-BPA exposed males can almost immediately get to the correct hole. The BPA exposed male took quite a bit longer. They didn’t use the most efficient strategy and just wandered around randomly, aimlessly. When we tested the females, both the non-exposed and BPA-exposed females had similar responses. They were acting behaviorally like females.
Did they show any other signs that aren’t typical for males?
We wanted to test whether females could detect the compromised state of the males, so we set up a mate choice test. The way we assessed her interest is through preferential behavior – and in these mice that’s through nose-to-nose contact. We found that the females preferred the non-exposed males on a 2-to-1 basis.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Focus on Literacy for 3rd Grade

With all we know now about literacy gaps between boys and girls, we need to really start focusing on the needs and interests of boys and girls in every classroom in the primary grades in order to keep everyone engaged in reading.

Focus on STEM

They talk about getting people interested in STEM.  Interests have a gendered layer to it and we can incorporate this without stereotyping.  But there needs to be a starting point to get the conversation going.  I'd recommend the overarching concept of "Connection" for girls.  When planning lessons the teacher needs to think:  How can I get my girls (and boys) to connect with the content?  How does it matter to them?

If there isn't a clear and accessible format, develop connections within the class by building in opportunities to share opinion or comment on the ideas of each other in a Gallery Walk.

Equity or Censorship?

Is denial really the answer? Is this censorship?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Reading and Gender from Malaysia (survey)

Malaysia and Reading.
Educators can't be afraid of talking about gender and how it impacts what goes on the classroom.

Gender Differences Discussion in Australia

Now from Australia, nature and nurture.  The discussion about the potential "innate" differences and the impact of environment and socialization is critical.  But, it can't turn into an all or nothing debate.  Educators have work with boys and girls in the classroom.  Ignoring the results by gender in the classroom will leave educators ignorant about an important part of classroom dynamics.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Time for Action

Another report and discussion about boys of color and what to do.  Dr. Jones is right - it takes the will to act at this point.  Who is willing?