On Lego’s multi-million-dollar-marketing blitz rolling out its new girly toy, Shaping Youth’s Amy Jussel blogs:
How can we finally be tossing aside ‘hardwired’ corpus calossum theories on differences in boys/girls, acknowledging brain plasticity and realizing this play pattern/edu deficit stuff is NOT ‘set in stone’ and yet simultaneously standby to see Lego spend $40 million in mega-marketing bucks to proceed to SET it in stone.
Here are some of Jussel’s suggestions:
…We begin early on building new fluencies by shifting rather than reinforcing play patterns to stop gap educational chasms that seep out in early years of ‘testing’ after exposure to repeated environmental influences?
…We focus on using those thousands of hours of practice in play purposely veering toward more verbal prowess for boys and spatial ability for girls to close the whole reading/math gender stereotype gap?
… We redirect that $40 million of Lego marketing money toward cross-training childrens’ brains via play to amp up their mind muscles and fill learning gaps in BOTH genders?
…We cease to amplify the same ol’ gendered strengths and weaknesses as faux marketing ‘givens’ until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy? (and then shake our heads at why boys and girls are just ‘different’ in learning styles)
Please read Jussel’s whole post. It’s great and has many excellent references to books and articles.