Although research regarding gender and the brain is still evolving, there is a growing trend of information showing that female brains and male brains work differently in certain circumstances. In fact, some sources suggest that there may be over 200 chemical, physical, and hormonal differences in the brains of boys and girls that lead to differences in the ways that they absorb and use information.
The idea that boys learn and use information differently than girls underlines the theory at the heart of Gurian Institute Model Schools. In a Gurian Model School, students of a single gender are taught using specific techniques designed to appeal to their brains through the study of gender science. At ANA, this approach to learning addresses the science behind the function of the male brain, allowing for the development of specific techniques intended to improve information retention and maximize academic success.
The Merit Behind the Gurian Model
According to studies, boys lag behind girls in numerous academic feats, particularly in reading and writing. What's more, males account for the majority of disciplinary problems and poor grade point averages reported by schools across the country. Much of this is due to the fact that boys’ brains function differently, meaning that conventional approaches to education may meet the mark for female academics, but fall short of male learning requirements.
Unfortunately, the problems that boys suffer when attending conventional schools are not ones that are easily overcome, which is why the majority of high school dropouts are male, and only 45% of boys go on to pursue a college education. Gurian Model Schools accommodate male student learning patterns and offer a learning environment that caters specifically to the methods that work best for the male brain.
Gurian Model Schools utilize methodologies designed specifically for the minds of girls or boys, depending on the school. For boys, these techniques can be as simple as offering stress-balls for students to access during class to engage their brains through physical motion, and center around the idea of incorporating as many different sensory experiences into learning as possible. As research has shown, the more senses involved, the more male students are likely to retain information.
Qualifying as a Gurian Model School
Research conducted into male learning patterns by Michael Gurian, the founder of the Gurian Institute, has found numerous differences between the male and female brain, including:
- Boys learn better when physical movement is involved with learning
- Boys are more likely to take part in impulsive behavior
- Girls are better at multitasking than boys
- Boys require sensory experiences in order to learn well
- Boys require extra time to memorize written material
- Boys become distracted more than girls
Therefore, in order to qualify as a Gurian Model School, an academic facility must adjust its educational approach to utilize techniques best suited for reaching either boys or girls. By studying the research available, Gurian Model Schools are better equipped to handle the specific needs of their student bodies.
The Benefits of Being a Gurian Model School
The obvious advantage of being an all boys school is that it provides a personalized learning experience to students. Rather than forcing students to fall into line with pre-existing approaches to education, Gurian Model Schools adjust those approaches to best suit the needs of the students.
- Promotes the dedication of any given school to investing in the science and brain-based research surrounding gender and education, in order to ensure teacher effectiveness.
- Optimizes the information that parents, staff, and students use to understand how boys and girls learn through the analysis of behavioral and academic data.
- Creates an educational environment based on the latest in scientific research regarding brain-gender differences and effective instructional strategies.
- Provides a competitive edge to students who might otherwise suffer with academic achievement or behavioral problems.
Army and Navy Academy makes use of over a century of experience working as an all boys school to provide specialized learning experiences for high-achieving students. Recognized as a leader in single-gender education, and an officially designated Gurian Model School, Army and Navy Academy utilizes techniques for teaching designed to appeal to the male mind, including physical activity in classrooms, interactive lessons, and the use of competition in learning tasks.