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"Girls Just Work Harder"

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Am I a member of the lazy gender? Are three of my four kids also part of that group?

The answer might be yes, suggests a recent study by a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. The researcher examined the different levels of self-discipline between girls and boys, and my gender came up on the losing end.

Education Week published a story this week about this research, and one of the people quoted in the piece simply said "girls just work harder." Some experts say girls put in more time working on homework, and are much more deliberate about making sure they understand academic material, while boys tend to have confidence that they know the material without really making sure that they do.

I must admit that last sentence has a certain ring of truth in my household. Just getting the "stupid homework" done seems to be more important to my boys than truly understanding the concepts the homework is trying to reinforce.

But is it that simple? Are boys lazier than girls? If yes, then how should educators go about changing their mindsets? And if not, then why do they get lower grades and tend to spend less time on homework?

Here's your chance to weigh in on this topic. We have embedded a TalkBack feature in the Education Week story about this research. Go to the TalkBack and give us your opinion, analysis, or unique personal perspective. If the discussion generates a lot of comments, I will report back here what I think can be learned from the responses.

5 Comments

I don't think the statement 'Girls just work harder' is very accurate or productive. The materials which girls are
working on are often aimed at them. There are hardly any "boys" books in schools.

Boys would work as hard as girls if the curriculum equally represented the interests of both sexes. (www.scobre.com)

I can see the point of the article, however this is not something I feel is true. I know many young men that are very driven and work extremely hard to make the top of their class in grades and activities. I do agree with the posting that many of the books published are more girl orientated. But there are all kinds of books for boys to enjoy. My son loves to read, just not the books his teacher has choosen for the classroom to do their assignments in literature about. He still does his homework though. So I can see the research findings conclusion, I just don't agree.

What do you mean by "boys books"?

This document provides an interesting take on the topic of homework:

http://www.smartboysbadgrades.com/

BTW "boys books" are books on topics and written in a way that interest boys. There are those who say boys read for information, girls read for connection. Go figure.

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