Download the WHY A BOYS SCHOOL? brochure published by the International Boys' School Coalition


St. George's School is deliberately a boys school – in part because there is growing evidence, including brain research, to suggest that boys learn differently from girls and, in part, because for close to 85 years, we have seen first-hand the profound effect that a boys’-centered education has on our students.
But let's start with the research. By using FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), researchers have been able to identify clear developmental differences between boys and girls. In particular, neurologists have confirmed that the pre-frontal cortex of boys – the area of the brain that focuses on decision making, reading, writing and word production – is typically less developed than girls of the same age. As well, we now know that movement between the right and left brain hemispheres is generally weaker in boys.
But what does this mean in terms of how boys learn? Here are a few findings:
  • Boys seem to be better at managing smaller chunks of information and are more singular task-oriented and, as result, more receptive to project-based assignments.
  • Boys are more spatial and visual in their learning in comparison to girls who are more verbal and auditory learners.
  • Boys are highly relational in their learning and yearn for a strong sense of belonging.
  • Boys tend to be more impulsive risk takers.
  • Boys will typically 'zone out' more easily and more frequently and may require more "neural rest" breaks.
  • Boys tend to be more competitive.
As a school that specializes in boys – that is boy-centred – there are numerous opportunities to adapt our teaching practices so that we can capitalize on the strengths of boys and focus on their areas of weakness. For example, based on both research and our years of experience in working with boys, we know that:
  • teacher-centred classrooms tend to be difficult for most boys and that as a school, we need to avoid prolonged lecturing, note-taking, and quiet studying and focus more on kinesthetic or hands-on learning;
  • our curriculum must elevate the importance of subject areas that promote literacy, modern languages, art, music, and drama;
  • a greater emphasis must be placed on helping our boys to develop organizational and homework skills;
  • given boys' propensity to be relational and competitive, team-based learning, athletics, competitive and collaborative activities are motivational for boys;
  • boys strive in an environment where there is a sense of fairness and where everyone is accountable to a well-defined values system and rules-structure.
Finally, researchers have discovered that students in a coeducational setting are actually prone to 'gender intensification'; that is, determining in their own right which subjects are suited for boys and which ones for girls and reinforcing those labels. Among applicants interviewed by our Admissions Office, we often see young men who are the product of this type of stereotyping; boys who want to pursue arts or languages yet feel intimidated in a coeducational environment as those subjects have been deemed by their peers to be not 'cool' for boys. In a boys school like St. George's, everything is a level "playing field"; our top athletes are often our top musicians, artists, and academics.
As you read our Strategic Plan, come to understand our approaches to teaching and learning, assess our curricular and co-curricular offerings, view the School's six core values, or look at the diversity of universities our grads have chosen to attend, you will come to understand how, in a world climate where boys are falling behind, St. George's School has become the school of choice for many boys and a leader in boys-centric education.
Founded in 1930, St. George's School is a world-class boys' university preparatory school, offering a day program in Grades 1-12 and an Urban Boarding program in Grades 8-12. With 1150 students, 109 of whom are boarders from over 20 countries worldwide, St. George's School truly is Canada's World School for Boys.
St. George’s School
Junior Campus: 3851 West 29th Avenue, Vancouver, BC Canada V6S 1T6
Senior Campus: 4175 West 29th Avenue, Vancouver, BC Canada V6S 1V1
604-224-1304 |