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September 9, 2010

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

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
Phone: 519.432.8353, ext. 28280