School trust official: Teach girls 'disruptiveness'

July 19, 2013 at 2:32 PM
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LONDON, July 19 (UPI) -- An official with a trust running 26 girls-only schools in Britain says girls should be taught "disruptiveness" to help them be successful in the workplace.

Kevin Stannard, head of innovation and learning at the Girls' Day School Trust, said girls tend to perform better than boys in school and are more likely to graduate from college with a good degree -- but they still make about 10 percent less than men in the workplace, The Telegraph reported Friday.

Stannard said girls should be taught to challenge authority, a skill he said could help them be more successful in the workplace.

"Of course, encouragement of 'misbehavior' should only go so far. We don't want to [motivate] students to not value academic success," he said. "But disruptiveness -- as in the willingness to question, suggest alternatives, challenge, take risks, adapt and lead -- can be very empowering.

"Disruptiveness isn't, of course, a particularly valued attribute in schools, but it is not so very far from those of resourcefulness, resilience, enterprise, adventurousness, risk-taking, determination, standing up for yourself, leadership and connectivity, which good schools do indeed seek to encourage and develop in girls," Stannard said. "It is not just what is taught at school but also how it is taught that is of long-term importance."

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