The old 'nature versus nurture' argument is over, according to a keynote speaker at the University of Newcastle's upcoming 'Working with Boys, Building Fine Men' conference.
Parenting and family expert Michael Gurian, from the Gurian Institute in the United States, will tell close to 400 conference delegates through a pre-recorded address that what we really need to do is 'nurture the nature'.
Mr Gurian's research draws on brain scanning techniques that identify differences in the male and female brain to help teachers develop appropriate ways to teach boys effectively.
"New brain scanning technology clearly illustrates differences in the ways boys and girls react to stimuli, activity and rest, and debunks talk that these differences are simply the result of nurture," said Mr Gurian.
"Studies on spatial awareness show that by four days of age, girl babies hold eye contact with their care giver for longer than boys, while boys are already responding to movement and activity."
"Studies on vocabulary show that for every 20,000 words a girl uses, a boy uses between 7,000 and 10,000."
Deborah Hartman, from the University of Newcastle's Family Action Centre, said Mr Gurian would explain the latest neuroscientific research and show how to make these differences work for teachers in the classroom at the 'Working with Boys, Building Fine Men' conference.
"Mr Gurian's presentation will be a highlight for the conference, where educators and researchers will share their knowledge of ways to improve social and academic outcomes for boys," said Ms Hartman.
The University of Newcastle's Family Action Centre will host the 5th Biennial 'Working with Boys, Building Fine Men' conference from 4 - 6 July 2007 in Newcastle.
For more information visit the conference website
Editor's Note: Michael Gurian will deliver this exclusive keynote address to conference delegates via DVD. He is available for interview via email in Colorado, USA. Please note that Colorado is 16 hours behind Newcastle time.
To organise interviews with Michael Gurian or Deborah Hartman, contact Camilla McQualter in the Family Action Centre.