A blog about economics instruction. "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler."--Albert Einstein

Friday, May 13, 2005

Brain Research and Economics Instruction

This article from Scientific American provides a wealth of information about recent findings relating to male-female differences in the brain. The implications for economics instruction are not clear, yet when I read the article my first thought was that economics instructors need to find ways to make economics appealing to both sexes.

Since this post is a QuickTake, I'll just copy and paste a few intriguing statements from the article:

These anatomical differences might well relate somehow to differences in the way males and females navigate. Many studies suggest that men are more likely to navigate by estimating distance in space and orientation ("dead reckoning"), whereas women are more likely to navigate by monitoring landmarks.

Even the neurons in the hippocampus behave differently in males and females, at least in how they react to learning experiences.

The more we discover about how brain mechanisms of learning differ between the sexes, the more we may need to consider how optimal learning environments potentially differ for boys and girls.

That last statement deserved the bold, which I put on it.

I have to warn you that if you read the article, you'll learn more about rat brains than you ever wanted to know. My purpose is to remind instructors that male and female brains do differ and that's going to make a difference in their reaction to the subject matter and the way it's presented.



Anonymous jazzybelle said...

Much more needs to be learned about the functioning of the human brain before we can know how differently female and male students learn. Males like economics better than females, possibly because of the spatial considerations discussed in the article.

7:14 PM


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home