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Is the Brain the Key to a Better Understanding of Gender Differences in the Classroom?

Jeffrey Derks, Lydia Krabbendam


Gender differences are clearly noticeable in education in both performance and preferences.. Neuroscience offers a promising method for exploring these differences. In the popular media, the idea of clearly separate male and female brains is often advocated. However, in reality the issue of gender differences in the brain is more complicated. Moreover, the use of neuroscientifc findings in education has proven to be a thorny endeavor. In this article, we will critically discuss several issues arising from the research on gender in the brain in relation to education. Firstly, what is actually known about sex differences in the brain will be discussed. Secondly, several difficulties associated with the interpretation of neuroscientific research on these differences will be pointed out. Thirdly, we will discuss why caution is needed in the implementation of neuroscientific findings in education. Finally, possible future directions for the field of brain, gender and education will be described.


neuroeducation; gender; sex; brain

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