Continued from page 1
Psychologists applied a standard statistical test (5% significance level) to ‘prove’ theory, even though they had a minimal knowledge of statistics.
However, it was found that aggressive/ passive behaviour is much more influenced by sexual stereotyping.
In an experiment conducted with a small boy aged about 3 years old, a female carer was told to look after him. When he was dressed as a boy, carer played more active/ rougher games, such as kicking a ball, with him. When same boy was dressed as a girl, a carer sat ‘girl’ on her lap and used a doll to play with ‘her’.
This illustrates that a boy is ‘conditioned’ to be aggressive, and a girl is ‘conditioned’ to be passive.
So is there any ‘truth’ in left/ right brain theory and ‘gender theory’?
In my experience as a mathematics teacher, I’ve found that boys tend to solve mathematical problems in a more aggressive manner, and will try different approaches if one method fails. Girls tend to be more passive in their problem solving. Quite often a girl will start to use correct method, but abandon her solution through a lack of confidence when going gets slightly more difficult.
I tend to use intuition quite a lot to solve mathematical problems, especially more difficult ones. That’s on right side of brain I think?
Kenneth Morley has been a UK Mathematics Teacher for over 25 years. He has taught the age range 11 to 19 at secondary level in mathematics education,. Read similar articles, download activities, mathematics tutorials at http://www.tutorialsinmaths.com