by HANNAH JOHNSTON
It has always been said that boys are more athletic, stronger, and tougher than girls, and while a new study may not prove that myth wrong, it proves that girls are smarter than most boys in the classroom.
The OECD gives The Program for International test each year. Researcher David Geary and Gijsbert Stoet went through the results of 1.5 million scores of 15 year-olds who took the test from 200-2009.
The boys are only in the top 20th percentile with girls in the wealthier, better developed countries. In three countries, however, boys did seem to triumph over the females. In Columbia, Costa Rica, and the Indian state of Himachal Pardesh, male 15-year-olds did seem to score higher than females.
But why exactly are girls doing better than boys in the classroom? David Geary, psychologist at the University of Missouri-Columbia, believes it is due to the fact that “boys are more active behaviorally.” He believes it is harder for boys to concentrate in class at a young age making it more difficult for them to learn and build on past knowledge.
Another explanation is that in some countries most middle school boys drop out of school in order to get a job. Changu Mannathoko, the senior editor and advisor of UNICEF, believes that boys get more out of being part of a workforce, “whereas girls see learning as an opportunity to get jobs”. Mannathoko thinks a solution could be to encourage boys to be teachers and give them someone to look up to at a young age. This would encourage them to stick with school and work harder.
The organizations involved with these studies plan to use them to improve “learning outcomes” and help all students – male or female – do well in school.