This week was arguably the hardest question so far: “Do boys think differently to girls?”
Due to the difficulty of the question we started by asking the children about their favourite colours and activities they enjoyed, we found this was a good way to get them thinking about the most basic possible differences or similarities between genders. A lot of the girls liked purple but so did some boys – this started the children thinking about whether we are different or not at all.
Silence fell and almost everyone’s hands rose when we asked who would like to be the police officers this week, Lily-Rose and Matthew did a great job of time keeping and making sure the children stayed on track. Getting into groups offered the usual challenges and as it was the last SOLE group before Christmas the children were very chatty and boisterous, but all settled down as they started discussing the question.
The children began by exploring their personal opinions – “men are sportier”, “boys are naughtier in school”, “girls are more organised”, “ladies are more creative”. It was interesting to see how gender stereotypes were the first things to come up. A few children said that they think we are all the same or were undecided; a lovely quote from one of the boys who did not agree with the gender stereotypes was “yes and no, because some boys do like ballet”.
When the children were given the iPads the focus shifted from gender stereotypes to a very scientific perspective “Men and women’s brains are wired differently” became the running theme, with explanations as detailed as the connections within the hemispheres and children using the iPads in their presentations to show us scans of brain activity.
Overall, the children could not agree on the answer – Donna and I weren’t sure either as a matter of fact – but their eagerness to find the answer lead them to exploring some very complex scientific information and definitely got them thinking about their own and their classmates’ ways of thinking!