Abigail James has made an extensive study of cognitive gender differences and examined how that knowledge can best be applied to practices in teaching boys and girls. In this work, she examines how girls' unique sensory, physical, cognitive, and emotional systems affect their performance in the classroom, and provides specific suggestions for how teachers can use that information to benefit girls either in single-sex or co-ed settings.
In particular, the book focuses on math and science instruction, since women are under-represented in these courses at the university level and in related fields, despite current incentives for female students to select math, science, or engineering majors. A large part of the problem, it seems, is that math and science classes are simply not taught in ways that complement the female brain. James shows teachers how to incorporate research-based findings and adapt classroom experiences to assist girls' learning, within the best standards of classroom instruction.
Abigail Norfleet James taught for many years in single-sex schools and consults on the subject of gendered teaching to school systems, colleges, and universities. Her area of expertise is developmental and educational psychology as applied to the gendered classroom. Prior to obtaining her doctorate from the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education, she taught general science, biology, and psychology in both boys' and girls' schools. Her previous publications include reports of research comparing the educational attitudes of male graduates of coed schools and single-sex schools, research describing the effects of gendered basic skills instruction, and a report of academic achievement of students in single gender programs. In addition, she has written on differentiated instruction at the elementary school level. She has presented workshops and papers at many educational conferences and works with teachers and parent groups in interpreting the world of gendered education. Her professional affiliations include the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color, the Gender and Education Association, the International Boys' Schools Coalition, and the National Association for Single-Sex Public Education (Advisory Board Member).
Foreword by Monica M. Gillespie Acknowledgments About the Author Introduction 1. The Influence of Cognitive Gender Differences Quiz Part I: The Brain and Senses Part II: The Mind 2. Differences in Learning Approaches Quiz Learning Modalities Group Size Fairness Learning Disabilities Synthesizing vs. Analyzing 3. Dealing With Stress Quiz Stress Management of Test Anxiety Ability vs. Effort 4. Teaching Math to the Female Brain Quiz Performance in Math Why Girls Don't Like Math What Can Be Done to Help? 5. Teaching Science to the Female Brain Quiz Why Girls Don't Like Science Why Girls Should Do Well in Science What Can Be Done to Help? 6. Teaching Math and Science to Girls in a Coed School Sociocultural Issues Role Models Verbal vs. Visual Approach Singe-Sex Classes or Programs Practical Applications 7. Gendered Instruction Virginia Standards of Learning Differentiated Instruction Multiple Intelligences Learning Modalities Unit Design Empowering Girls as Learners Test-Taking Strategies Final Words 8. Resources and Other Helps Math Techniques Books Web Sites Learning Style Assessments References Index