GENDER DIFFERENCES: Boys & Girls Learn Differently


[semester equivalent = 2.00 credits]



Brenda McKinney



Knowledge of research in brain based gender differences is one of the best tools a teacher can have. Now is the time to explore this timely topic!! Discover differences between the male and female brain that will transform how you teach and communicate. Explore teaching and learning strategies developed through current brain research and focused on gender differences as related to effective learning, interpersonal communication, motivation, and self concept.

No matter what age level you teach, you will want to take this class.  This course was designed to help you create and adapt activities, games, rituals and other learning innovations based on how boys and girls brains work best and what they need at different stages of school life. Your knowledge of research in brain based and gender based research will show you how to optimize each child’s learning abilities and also will help to reduce the number of children labeled as discipline problems, slow learners, or attention deficit.

This course will provide practical assistance in your efforts to design the ultimate classroom and you will leave knowing how to put these ideas into action in your classroom. Expect a life-changing experience! 


LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  1. An understanding of brain and gender based differences in anatomical structure, neurological development, and the chemical and hormonal climate in growing boys and girls.
  2. Enhanced knowledge of the reason for many discipline problems.
  3. An increased understanding of the roles of reading/writing/math/science and why boys or girls tend to do better in these areas.
  4. A chance to explore the current crisis in the US from lack of proper nutrition and physical activity.
  5. Learned how to combine structural innovations at the school level with the gender specific innovations needed in the classroom.
  6. Create innovations that will change the way you teach and ultimately, the children in your classroom.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit.  The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), or Washington State Clock Hours or Oregon PDUs. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours and Oregon PDUs.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



The Boys and Girls Learn Differently Action Guide for Teachers. Michael Gurian

  • The Boys and Girls Learn Differently Action Guide for Teachers
    ISBN# 0787964859
    by Gurian, Michael, Ballew, Arlette C.

    Buy from Amazon


Text, The Boys and Girls Learn Differently Action Guide for Teachers, is approximately $14.95 from Amazon.


Brenda McKinney, CEO of Vancouver, WA based BrainVolution, is a developer and dynamic facilitator of workshops that teach practical thinking and learning tools for raising student achievement with the brain in mind. She has trained educators throughout the Pacific Northwest and is a popular presenter because of her ability to motivate, make things fun, and teach practical techniques for the classroom that can be used immediately. Brenda continues to read hundreds of books and articles on the subject of neuroscience and searches for the answer to success for every student. Her work with at-risk students and those with reading problems have made her a popular speaker at the state, regional and national level.

Brenda is able to synthesize the new research and continues to address the role of how to use the latest findings to create high achievement classroom. She brings 30+ years of experience at the elementary, middle school, high school and university level as a mentor teacher, consultant, motivational speaker, university instructor, and reading specialist. Brenda has her Master’s in Education from Washington State University and is nationally certified in Brain Based Learning through the renowned  Jensen Corporation, led by Eric Jensen, a noted international spokesperson for neuroscience and education.


Brenda will inspire and motivate you with her energy, enthusiasm and knowledge. Her wisdom, techniques, and brain based approach to education will inspire you and challenge you to meet the demands of this ever changing world.



GENDER DIFFERENCES: Boys & Girls Learn Differently

Baron-Cohen, Simon. The Essential Difference. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2003.
This text is ground breaking and controversial. The author analyzes the research on the difference in the male female brains and also poses a revolutionary idea about the cause of autism. It is easy to read and enjoyable to read. If nothing else you will find the text provocative. This is written in layman terms so you will enjoy the read.

Brizendine, Louann. The Female Brain. New York, NY: Broadway Books, 2006.
I loved this book. It was great fun and I found that women, as well as men, have enjoyed reading the research. Ten years ago this book could not have been written. The ideas are certain to spark controversy but it is a must read, an owner’s manual for the brain for women. Pick up a copy, now in paperback.

Gurian, Michael and Patricia Henley. The Boys and Girls Learn Differently Action Guide for Teachers. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass, 2003.
This landmark book outlines the brain based theories that can be used to transform classroom and help both boys and girls learn better. This easy to use guide is based on the latest scientific research on the differences between boy’s and girl’s brains, neurological development, hormonal effects, behavior, and learning needs. All of the strategies were applied during a two year pilot program at the Gurian Institute. This book is essential for all educators. Boys and girls do learn differently.

Gurain, Michael and Kathy Stevens. The Minds of Boys. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass, 2005.
This wonderful text is readable and practical. It provides neuroscience and practical strategies. All educators need to read this book especially in light of the new research about why our boys are failing in school.

One of my other distance courses, “Teaching the Male Brain” uses this text.

Keddie,  Amanda. Teaching Boys: Developing Classroom Practices that Work. Allin & Unwin, 2008.
Practical strategies that work. Again another book addressing the fact that boys are struggling. Provides the latest research and tested practices that work!

Norfleet James, Abigail. Teaching the Male Brain. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2007.
This is probably my favorite text on teaching the male brain. The book offers a helpful overview of recent work in the fields of gender studies and educational policy. The author pays particular attention to biological research on the human brain and implications for education.  Anyone interested in education will find this book stimulating. If you are looking for ideas to help with males in the classroom, this will provide the answers. Best of all, there is a content specific section.

Medina, John. Brain Rules. Seattle, WA: Pear Press, 2008. (Rule 11)
This book is the latest in brain research and one of Medina’s brain principles is that the male/female brains are different. Exciting to see research connected to business and education and real science from the field of biology and neuroscience.