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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:01 pm 
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Everyone learns differently. I have hit a plateau in my karate recently that frustrates me. :?

I seem to learn differently. I teach differently. This has made me wonder how much is due to my own personal difference and what I bring (or don't bring) to the table. How much is because of me thinking, reacting, and relating differently in a male dominated field. I found the article below and thought it was of interest.

What are the implications as far as a woman learning karate? How do I get my head around this and move forward?

An incredibly frustrated Vicki

Do men and women learn differently?

Men and women should be equal in terms of opportunities to exercise their full potential, but they are not identical in their innate abilities. Whether they equal is a political or moral question, but whether they are identical is a scientific one.

THE RESEARCH in neuroscience has shown subtle differences in the functioning of the brains of men and women. Women’s left and right hemispheres of brain get activated when exposed to new concrete experiences in an emotional setting. While in the case of men, it is the left hemisphere that gets activated whether experience is concrete or abstract. This has implications for learning environment and teaching techniques. The emotionally charged learning environment coupled with cooperative learning and multiple intelligences approach to instruction are seen appropriate for making science and mathematics learning compatible to both girls and boys, a case for this position has been built in the paper.

The last decade saw a spurt in research activities related to gender and education. Gender sensitivity and gender equity in education have become the key concern for educators and neuroscientists. On the basis of past lived experiences of men and women during their evolutionary periods, Pease and Pease (2003) explain the difference between men and women as follows:

"Men and women are different: Not better or worse – different. Just about the only thing they have in common is that they belong to the same set of species. They live in different worlds, with different values and different set of rules. Women criticise men for being insensitive, uncaring, not listening, not being warm and compassionate, not talking while men think they are the most sensible sex. Men and women have evolved differently because they had to. Men hunted, women gathered. Men protected, women nurtured. As a result, their bodies and brains evolved completely different ways. Over millions of years, the brain structures of men and women continued to change in different ways.

"Now, we know, the sexes process information differently. They think differently. They believe different things. They have different perceptions, priorities and behaviours. Men and women should be equal in terms of their opportunities to exercise their full potential, but they are not identical in their innate abilities. Whether men and women are equal is a political or moral question, but whether they are identical is a scientific one."

Due to these differences, highlighted by Pease and Pease, the following conclusions are made:
• Women have wider peripheral vision while men have tunnel vision
• Women have a better ability to predict outcomes of relationships
• Women are more touchy
• Women have higher perceptiveness to concrete experiences, verbal, vocal and body language aspects.

Left, right and centre of human brain
In the last three decades, a lot of progress has been made in neuroscience-based understanding of human brain. With the new and sensitive brain scanning equipment and devices, neuroscientists have found, which part and region of the brain, handles which task. The functions of the two hemispheres of the brain are summarised in the following table.
Left hemisphere of brain’s functions are: Facts, information, quantification, verbal skills, logic liner analytical thinking, words of a poem and a song, detailing, right side of the body, analysis and linking of competition.
Right hemisphere’s functions are: Cretaivity, artistic ability, visual – spacial ability, ideas, intuition – imagination, tune of a poem or a song, holistic – big picture – synthesis, multi-processing, left side of the body and linking for cooperation.

Gorski (1987) has found that a woman’s brain has a thicker corpus callosum as compared to that of man. The research shows that women have 30 per cent more connections between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Further the research also indicates that the female hormone estrogens promote nerve cells to grow more connections within the brain and between its hemispheres. This implies that women have the following advantages:

• Ability for multi-track activities
• Intuition
• Larger range of sensory perceptions
• Faster transfer of information between two hemispheres of the brain
• Speech fluency.

Currently, the brain-scanning instrument can show the activities of the brain on a television or computer screen using the techniques of Positron Emission Topography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Using these techniques, Shaywit and Bennett (1995) have found that there are different centre in the brain for seeing, hearing, generating and speaking words. And, men use mainly their left brain for these language tasks while women use both left and right. Thus, the brains of men and women operate differently.

Implications for teaching – Learning process
The emotionally charged and non-competitive learning environment alongwith use of cooperative learning (Slavin, 1980) and multiple–intelligences (Gardner, 1999) techniques of learning can be helpful for teaching subjects like mathematics and science so that both the brains get connected to appeal to women for learning these subjects well. It has been rightly said that what is good for women is also good in for men but reverse may not be equally true.

Source: http://www.merinews.com/article/do-men- ... 0198.shtml

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:14 pm 
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Would there be a difference in a womans ability to effectively assimilate the skills nescessary to survive on the street ?

According to the study woman and men are both capable of learning the skills ........they just learn differently...?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:58 pm 
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I thought everyone learned differently.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:23 pm 
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Me too (myself slower than others !!) :lol:

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 Post subject: Better survival skills ?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 6:34 pm 
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I assume by ya'lls silence that either I have too much time on my hands or my question was BAD !! So , how about this one ?

If a woman has better occular accuity (less tunnel vision ) than their male counterparts it stands to reason that under duress the female fighter would see "it" coming better than the male counterpart , it also stands to reason that because there is greater electrical communicationbetween left and right brain in females they would also have greater sonic accuity (better hearing?)... Superior info gathering skills from senses that are usually depressed after the introduction of the 'chemical cocktail' is a definite advantage at a time when making the wrong choice could reap a DEADLY harvest. :crazyeyes:

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:16 pm 
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Interesting theory...

Funny thing, Robb, my reaction to being scared is often intense anger first. Not sure why that happens.

Hope more respond.

Regards,
Vicki

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 Post subject: Parralells...?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:21 pm 
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8O Me too ....then the stomach thing.I think it's what happens next that counts THE most. :D

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 7:24 pm 
I do think that women think differently than men.so maybe I am sexist :lol: .but I also think that different races think differently, so I guess that I am a rascist as well :cry:
I know that the way my martial arts practise developed is not the norm........I got into lots of fights, then decided that I woul;d learn to fight...sadly a lot of the folks who had MA schools and taught me really didn't have a clue about fighting.....I grew up in a poor neighbourhood and learned to think the way that people there think.later working with the police/criminal justice system I got to see how those type of people live, as I had lived...........the biggest shock that I have had ( and a very good one) is the way that the Chinese view their martial arts..we tend to be externally focused, dominant, results and sport oriented........the Chinese think in a different way, or a least the folks that I train with do..................they are not at all confrontational, if you say you are uber tuff then they will probably agree with you and leave you to your own devices........when they demonstrate their arts, then they will put themselves at risk....but never you....kata plays a crucial role in their ma's, but is misunderstood, as are the skill sets...............a bit like riding a bike, once you know..You know :lol: ................women fit into this type of training very well.as do small children, big butch men....anybody really......you just need to listen to what is said :wink:


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 Post subject: It Aint that Bad......
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 12:20 am 
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"I do think that women think differently than men.so maybe I am sexist .but I also think that different races think differently, so I guess that I am a rascist as well "

We are all a product of the stimuluses that we are exposed to ..and the enviorments and cultures we hail from so your not sexist or racist just observant !! :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:55 am 
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IF there are differences in the way that males and females learn, its very hard to separate out the innate or genetic elements from the conditioned, environmental stuff. Almost always boys and girls are just treated differently right from the start.

Also - I think its possible to change how you learn. Could be just practise.


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 Post subject: Different Strokes
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:01 pm 
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• Ability for multi-track activities
• Intuition
• Larger range of sensory perceptions
• Faster transfer of information between two hemispheres of the brain
• Speech fluency.

"Also - I think its possible to change how you learn. Could be just practice. "

Unfortunately some will take different training methods for different sexs as sexist !!!!

[/i]

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:32 pm 
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I have been encouraged to join in by Vicki.

Let me start by saying that any instructor would be lucky to have a student as good as Vicki. Her biggest problem is that her instructor is a meanie; he expects her never to stop learning. :lol:

There's a lot out on the table here, which is pretty typical in ways that I'll get into in a bit. Bear with me. And remember that I'm just one opinion of many. However as a scientist, I have a bit of training on understanding association, causality, multidimensional systems, and the like. So I might be able to move this subject along a bit more.

Let's start here.
Sue G wrote:

IF there are differences in the way that males and females learn, its very hard to separate out the innate or genetic elements from the conditioned, environmental stuff. Almost always boys and girls are just treated differently right from the start.

This was a popular theory in the latter 1960s, and the 1970s. With the invention of birth control, women no longer were slaves to biology. They could control when and if they had children. That freed them to enter the working environment in unprecedented numbers. And with men and women doing some of the same jobs, the issue of equal pay for equal work reared its ugly head. There was also the issue of advancement. Was there a "glass ceiling" keeping women from entering the higher levels of management where (ahem) all the big money was?

It was in the end about independence and money.

In the nature/nurture argument, evidence pointing to differences between men and women being due mostly to nurture strengthened the argument that it was discrimination rather than ability which kept women from certain levels of management and certain kinds of jobs. Other schools of thought (behaviorism, socialism, etc.) weighed in on the matter.

So several decades of research were done to "prove" that the differences were mostly due to nurture. Boys and girls were brought up in gender neutral environments, and their behaviors and learning were studiued. And the results?

Drum roll

No matter how much the experimenters tried to get boys and girls to do the same things, girls (on average) gravitated to nurturing games (dolls, playing house) and boys crashed trucks and built fake guns from pencils and rubber bands. In other words, men and women are different.

Duh!!!

But here's the thing. Just because men and women have brains that work differently, is that a VALUE judgment? Does this make men "superior" to women? That's the red herring that needs to be thrown out with the rest of the organic fertilizer matter. Different is different. Different doesn't mean better or worse. If we ascribe to the school of Covey, differences are our collective strengths. Exploiting differences allows us to work synergisticaly to solve problems as a team.

THE classic set of experiments which illustrate the issue is following directions. Boy can couples argue on this subject. And why? Because they approach this problem solving situation differently.

In one set of experiments, they walk men and women through a maze. Then they put them back at the beginning again - blindfolded. On average, the men will get to the end faster than women.

In another set of experiments, men and women are asked to sit quietly in a room for 5 minutes. Then they bring them to another room, give them pad and pencil, and ask them to write down everything they saw in the room. On average, women will remember more items than men.

With direction-finding, men rely on orientation and women rely on features. Ask a guy how to get to some place and he'll say "Take route 7 about 2 miles east, and then take a right." Ask a woman how to get to some place and she'll say "Drive down that road until you get to the Exxon station, and make a right." Give a man a map to go to a southward direction, and he'll look at it with north-side up. A woman is more likely to turn the map upside down to see things the way she's seeing them when in the car.

I passed engineering graphics with flying colors. It was pathetically easy to me. Meanwhile, there were several women in that class who didn't get it, and probably never would. They weren't able to see a top, side, and front view of an object, and then draw it from a corner perspective. Their brains just couldn't work that way. Meanwhile, biochemistry just about killed me. Page after page of mind-numbing reactions, with little instruction on mechanisms of the reactions. Mechanistic organic chemistry? Piece of cake. A-plus both semesters. I was a shining star in a class of a hundred chem majors, and chemistry wasn't even my major. Memorize until you puke biochem? My good friend (and girlfriend) smoked me in that class. I barely survived. (FWIW, she's now a professor of medicine at University of Chicago. Smart woman, and a fish that got away. Sigh...)

So we know men's brains and women's brains work differently. So what. Does it matter? More in another post.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:56 pm 
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If you haven't seen this before, take the time, watch this video. I believe I've posted this in another thread. This speaks to the article Vicki posted above about connectivity in a man's brain vs. a woman's brain.

Mark Gungor explains the difference between the male and the female brain

One third fact, one third hyperbole, and one third humor. The whole communicates more than the sum of the parts.

More later...

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:15 pm 
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Sue G wrote:

Also - I think its possible to change how you learn. Could be just practise.

Dr. Lalit kishore wrote:

It has been rightly said that what is good for women is also good in for men but reverse may not be equally true.

No, no, no!!! :multi:

Here is where I (and others) disagree.
PBS wrote:

By almost every benchmark, boys across the nation and in every demographic group are falling behind. In elementary school, boys are two times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with learning disabilities and twice as likely to be placed in special-education classes. High-school boys are losing ground to girls on standardized writing tests. The number of boys who said they didn't like school rose 71 percent between 1980 and 2001, according to a University of Michigan study. Nowhere is the shift more evident than on college campuses. Thirty years ago men represented 58 percent of the undergraduate student body. Now they're a minority at 44 percent. This widening achievement gap, says Margaret Spellings, U.S. secretary of Education, "has profound implications for the economy, society, families and democracy."

****

Boys are biologically, developmentally and psychologically different from girls—and teachers need to learn how to bring out the best in every one. "Very well-meaning people," says Dr. Bruce Perry, a Houston neurologist who advocates for troubled kids, "have created a biologically disrespectful model of education."

****

Boys have always been boys, but the expectations for how they're supposed to act and learn in school have changed. In the last 10 years, thanks in part to activist parents concerned about their children's success, school performance has been measured in two simple ways: how many students are enrolled in accelerated courses and whether test scores stay high. Standardized assessments have become commonplace for kids as young as 6. Curricula have become more rigid. Instead of allowing teachers to instruct kids in the manner and pace that suit each class, some states now tell teachers what, when and how to teach. At the same time, student-teacher ratios have risen, physical education and sports programs have been cut and recess is a distant memory. These new pressures are undermining the strengths and underscoring the limitations of what psychologists call the "boy brain"—the kinetic, disorganized, maddening and sometimes brilliant behaviors that scientists now believe are not learned but hard-wired.

***

For many boys, the trouble starts as young as 5, when they bring to kindergarten a set of physical and mental abilities very different from girls'. As almost any parent knows, most 5-year-old girls are more fluent than boys and can sight-read more words. Boys tend to have better hand-eye coordination, but their fine motor skills are less developed, making it a struggle for some to control a pencil or a paintbrush. Boys are more impulsive than girls; even if they can sit still, many prefer not to—at least not for long.

Thirty years ago feminists argued that classic "boy" behaviors were a result of socialization, but these days scientists believe they are an expression of male brain chemistry. Sometime in the first trimester, a boy fetus begins producing male sex hormones that bathe his brain in testosterone for the rest of his gestation. "That exposure wires the male brain differently," says Arthur Arnold, professor of physiological science at UCLA. How? Scientists aren't exactly sure. New studies show that prenatal exposure to male sex hormones directly affects the way children play. Girls whose mothers have high levels of testosterone during pregnancy are more likely to prefer playing with trucks to playing with dolls. There are also clues that hormones influence the way we learn all through life. In a Dutch study published in 1994, doctors found that when males were given female hormones, their spatial skills dropped but their verbal skills improved.

In elementary-school classrooms—where teachers increasingly put an emphasis on language and a premium on sitting quietly and speaking in turn—the mismatch between boys and school can become painfully obvious. "Girl behavior becomes the gold standard," says "Raising Cain" coauthor Thompson. "Boys are treated like defective girls."

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:35 pm 
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chef wrote:

Funny thing, Robb, my reaction to being scared is often intense anger first. Not sure why that happens.

That's driven by the amygdala, Vicki. When threatened, your primal brain brings anger before the cognitive brain brings reason. Deftly controlled "emotional content" is the caffeine that can bring a zing to martial movement. So that's not altogether a dysfunctional response.

Some might say it's the Greek in you, the way some may say the advanced sense of humor in my brother and my youngest son is an Irish thing. Who knows? There may be some truth to that. I remember hearing from Maria Sofotasiou how she and her brother fought like cats and dogs when kids, with one hitting the other over the head with a truck and the other pushing the first through a plate glass window. Oye! 8O The grown-up Maria represented Greece in the Olympics (basketball) and was quite the martial warrior. Perhaps there's a pattern there.

Van may have some thoughts as to whether or not Sicilians can be the same way. ;)

- Bill


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