(via bobby stokes)
There are two celebrations for children in Japan. At the beginning of March we have Girl’s Day and display pretty dolls. In the picture, you can see a Boy’s day Kabuto (this one belongs to my two year old son).
The message is pretty clear. This is how boys should be. But as I suspect most parents will tell you, boys are like that whatever you do. I read a very smart pop-science book on the hoary old “Nature vs. Nurture” debate (find it here) which came to the conclusion that, well, it’s a bit of both…. boys are like that because it’s in their nature, and because society brings it out.
To the nub of the question. How does this effect your interactions with students? Do you treat male and female students differently? Should you?
We are dealing a couple of quite commonly held beliefs, at least in the wider world. The first is that girls are better at languages than boys. The second, that boys are being left behind in education.
The latter point does have a little more evidence to support it than the first. But should either influence us in our language teaching?