Black Cat Crossing




Fresh  ideas that tiptoe on little cat feet around conventional thinking, leaving a formidable imprint on the learning culture



"A black cat crossing your path signifies the animal is going somewhere."

-Groucho Marx


Debunking Myths


Do Girls and Boys Learn Differently?


The differences between boys and girls are real but they are averages


Scientific research has indicated these findings:

  1. From the third grade on, many girls use modeling, counting and standard algorithms (procedures) in math.
  2. From the third grade on many boys use invented strategies that take advantage of place-value properties in the base-ten number system.
  3. Many boys conceptualize in coded language and jargon.
  4. Many girls conceptualize in everyday language.
  5. Many boys thrive in a competitive learning atmosphere.
  6. Many girls need extra encouragement.
  7. Many boys need an extendedr time to render a verbal answer.
  8. Many girls tend to have longer attention spans.
  9. Many boys tend to move around the classroom more frequently.
  10. Many girls thrive in a smaller work space than boys.
  11. Many boys prefer nonfiction reading.
  12. Many girls prefer fiction reading.
  13. Many girls have the advantage writing essays.
  14. Many girls can multi task better than boys.
  15. Many girls are able to interpret body language more accurately than many boys.


The above findings are broad generalizations. As such, they do not take into account within-group differences such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and other characteristics. 


Most people know that girls have an easier time sitting still and working with small motor activity at their desks. Boys tend to want to be moving and tend to gravitate to physical, competitive play.


But the critical point that is rarely talked about is that the differences among individual boys and the differences among individual girls are so wide in almost every category that the “differences between boys and girls” tends to diminish in importance.


The science of education is the science of identifying and leading each child’s genius out in the world to function effectively in it. The core concept here is that each child is unique and that a good teacher teaches as if each child is unique.




Eccles J., Wigfield A., Rena D. & Blumenfeld, P. Age and gender differences in children's self- and task perceptions during elementary school. Child Development, v64 n3 p830-47 Jun 1993.

Fennema, E. Mathematics learning and the sexes: a review.
(1973).Retrieved July 27, 2009 from

Fennema,E., Carpenter, T. , Jacobs, V., Franke, M., Levi, L. A longitudinal study of gender differences in young children's mathematical thinking. Educational Researcher, v27 n5 p6-11 Jun-Jul 1998.

Gurian, M., Henley, P., Trueman, T. (2001). Boys and girls learn differently! a guide for teachers and parents. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Halpern, D. (2000) Sex differences in cognitive abilities. Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.








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