“Girls Just Work Harder”

By Kevin Bushweller — February 09, 2007 1 min read
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Am I a member of the lazy gender? Are three of my four kids also part of that group?

The answer might be yes, suggests a recent study by a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. The researcher examined the different levels of self-discipline between girls and boys, and my gender came up on the losing end.

Education Week published a story this week about this research, and one of the people quoted in the piece simply said “girls just work harder.” Some experts say girls put in more time working on homework, and are much more deliberate about making sure they understand academic material, while boys tend to have confidence that they know the material without really making sure that they do.

I must admit that last sentence has a certain ring of truth in my household. Just getting the “stupid homework” done seems to be more important to my boys than truly understanding the concepts the homework is trying to reinforce.

But is it that simple? Are boys lazier than girls? If yes, then how should educators go about changing their mindsets? And if not, then why do they get lower grades and tend to spend less time on homework?

Here’s your chance to weigh in on this topic. We have embedded a TalkBack feature in the Education Week story about this research. Go to the TalkBack and give us your opinion, analysis, or unique personal perspective. If the discussion generates a lot of comments, I will report back here what I think can be learned from the responses.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.