Friday, 01 September 2017 07:00

Workshop to provide insight into the ways boys can learn

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The differences in learning between boys and girls will be discussed at an upcoming workshop in Swift Current. The workshop Cracking the Boy Code takes places from 1-4 p.m. at the Art Gallery of Swift Current, Sept. 16.

 

The presenter is Regina music and piano teacher Gregory Chase, who has studied gender differences and how boys can be helped to reach their fullest potential.
The workshop is hosted by a group of registered music teachers in Swift Current with financial support from SaskCulture. Barbara Levorson said it is the first time Chase will make this presentation in Swift Current.
“He does this presentation throughout the province and so we thought we would bring him down to our little corner of the world,” she mentioned.
She emphasized the workshop is not only aimed at music teachers, but at all teachers and parents.
“How we can support boys so that they have more successful outcomes in the classroom and within their own relationships and then moving forward into life generally,” she said. “So it’s all about supporting different learning styles.”
There has been a shift away from the belief everyone learns in the same way.
“We used to think that everybody was n the same box and that we all learn the same way, and if you presented information the exact same way we would all pick it up, and that’s certainly not the case,” she said.
Her own experience as a music teacher confirms the importance of considering the personality of each student.
“So much of it comes from each child’s own experiences and what they’ve experienced at school, what they’ve experienced in the home, their experiences with their friends, their experiences with previous teachers,” she said. “All of that comes to play and it’s a little bit of a puzzle sometimes figuring out what makes each child tick, and I think anything that we can learn about those differences in learning styles is a benefit because you never know if you have a child that’s not motivated to learn or they’re having difficulty overcoming something. You never know what is going to be the key to their success. So I thinkit’s really important as teachers and as parents to always keep learning and to keep an open mind to different approaches.”
Levorson therefore views this workshop as an opportunity for teachers and parents to find out more about the different ways that boys and girls will learn.
“Classroom teachers, anyone who privately teaches, whether they are music teachers or any other activity and sports activities, that sort of thing, parents, and homeschooling parents,” she said. “So really it’s anybody who has an opportunity to teach and deal with boys.”
The workshop is also an opportunity for older students to get a better understanding of those differences in learning between boys and girls.
“I think this may be of interest to high-school students, not necessarily younger than that,” she said. “High-school students may be interested as well so that they can understand their own learning styles and perhaps how they have been approaching their own schooling and certainly for any that are considering going into education as a field of study for post secondary, this would be of interest to them as well. Many students are also coaches with skating or hockey, that sort of thing. So there’s a lot of high-school students that work a lot with children.”
Gregory Chase is an experienced music teacher. He is a sessional lecturer at the University of Regina, and he has started doctoral studies at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York, where he will be an online adjunct professor. He has published several pedagogical articles in provincial and national publications. He started to focus his research on the learning of boys after the birth of his own son.
“Greg has presented some interesting facts and statistics on that,” Levorson said. “One is that boys are at a greater risk than girls for most learning and developmental disorders. For example, they’re four times more likely to have autism or attention deficit disorder or dyslexia, and that’s significant.”
In addition, Chase will highlight other information during the workshop to indicate differences between the growth and development of boys and girls.
“Boys mature more slowly, they tend to get sick more often, they have more illnesses,” Levorson said. “Girls mature a little faster in terms of language development than boys do, and so his approach is rather than trying to suppress or disapprove of how boys have a different learning style or they have a more physical learning style, we should be learning how to embrace that and to structure our own teaching environments so that they can learn more effectively.”
The registration cost for the workshop is $20 for adults and $10 for students. The deadline for registration is Sept. 8. To register, contact Andrea Neustaeter at 306-774-9048 or e-mail: a.neustaeter@ gmail.com.

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Matthew Liebenberg

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