Boys & Girls decide if school is for them very early:
The Gurian Institute knows how crucial early childhood education is – and that understanding gender differences is a key component to providing a gender-friendly learning environment.
The book Wired to Move: Facts and Strategies for Nurturing Boys in an Early Childhood Setting chronicles the difference research and discovery of early childhood educators and how they made a difference in young boys’ performance through understanding their hard-wired nature combined with simple, proven strategies.
Armed with troubling statistics that showed 72% of the children with social-emotional problems in their region were boys, the Starting Point program embarked on a mission to find out why—and to do something about it.
Consulting with experts, including the Gurian Institute, reviewing the latest literature and observing in classrooms, they confirmed that early childhood classrooms are not designed for the ways boys learn. That prompted them to take a fresh look at curricula, classrooms and teaching strategies and develop a pilot program to test their ideas.
The pilot succeeded beyond expectations. In just one year the percentage of boys with self-control problems was cut in half. Interestingly girls’ performance improved too.
The Boys’ Project was implemented and quickly expanded to classrooms throughout Northeastern Ohio. As part of the Project:
• Hundreds of early childhood teachers have been trained by Starting Point in boy-friendly strategies.
• Materials have been developed to assist teachers in implementing boy-friendly strategies, including a manual, boy-friendly checklist and a teacher self-reflective checklist.
• All Universal Pre-Kindergarten sites are required to implement boy-friendly strategies and must develop an implementation plan. Starting Point provides training, technical assistance and conducts follow-up visits to review plans and classrooms.
• Parent meetings and materials educate parents about boy-friendly practices and stress the importance of consistent boy-friendly practices at home.
• A Men in Early Childhood advisory group has been formed to involve more men in early childhood planning and programs.
Results continue to show significant improvements in boys’ performance. Teachers and parents are enthusiastically embracing the program, which continues to grow.
Summer Institute –
July 14-16, 2014
Our keynote speakers and break-out sessions give teachers effective ways to help young boys perform at their best and create a strong foundation for later learning. Plus you’ll meet key change-makers from Starting Point!
By Katey McPherson