Education expert predicts standard tests will become a thing of the past

September 9, 2010


London, ON – Brescia University College welcomes Dr. JoAnn  Deak, an expert in education and psychology and a sought-after speaker, to present  some surprising differences in how males and females learn – and demonstrate  their knowledge – in a talk entitled “Inside a girl’s mind” on September 17 and  18.

As more and more female students pursue post-secondary  education and an increasing number of male students are dropping out, educators  and administrators are seeking answers. Deak recommends that everyone participating  in the educational system should learn more about the differences between the  male and female brain functions. This will help in the development and delivery  of learning and assessment methods that maximize opportunities for both sexes.

“As education becomes competitive, in the sense of going to  selective universities or getting better grades, it favours females because  we’re designed to focus better on details, to read people, and to be pleasers.  Standard testing and educational practices fit the female brain more than the  male brain…Universities that have stopped using SATs (Scholastic Aptitude  Tests) as benchmarks for admission are having much more success with getting  males to enter,” Deak explained.

“The tidal wave is just kind of building, where both high  schools and universities are seeing that standard multiple choice,  fill-in-the-blank, or content-based testing is not a predictor of being  successful in our current world. My prediction is that we won’t have things  like SATs in five years because they’re not successful predictors of people who  will be successful in life and in university.”

In her presentations at Brescia, Deak will also be speaking  to the value of women’s-only education. “People say this is a co-ed world and  that you should be in a co-ed setting to prepare for it. We have much evidence  to the contrary. If you put a girl in a single-sex education setting, she will  feel free to take risks in order to try hard things and to not try to hide her  intelligence. The research says, in general, girls or females who spend enough  time in a single-sex setting tend to have better self-esteem, better leadership  skills, and better achievement throughout life. Interestingly, this doesn’t  hold for boys who go to boys’ schools.”

Deak will spend the first day of her visit with the faculty  of Canada’s only women’s university – Brescia – and on September 18, Brescia  will welcome the staff, Brescia volunteers, guidance counsellors from Ontario  secondary schools, local educational administrators, and colleagues from King’s  and Huron University Colleges for a day-long session.

Those interested in attending the session on September 18  are invited to contact Marianne Simm, registrar, by September 10 to see if  space is available. She may be reached by e-mail at and by telephone at 519.432.8353,  ext. 28264.

Deak has authored two books on the subject of female  learning and co-authored the recently released How Girls Thrive. For more  information about Dr. JoAnn Deak, visit her web site at

All Londoners participating in Doors Open on September 18 are  invited to come to Brescia between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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If you are interested in scheduling an interview with Dr.  Deak, either by telephone in advance of her visit or while she is at Brescia,  please contact:

Julie Maltby                       Communications, Marketing & External Relations Officer                       E-mail:                       Phone: 519.432.8353, ext. 28280