Friday, January 28, 2011
Canada's Montreal Gazette reports that Girl Scouts in the United States are tested with intellectually intense activities that require them to explore their world, while their counterparts in the Boy Scouts focus more on rote answers and following orders, according to a new study examining the century-old organizations.

Kathleen Denny, a sociology graduate student at the University of Maryland, combed through the handbooks for the two programs to examine the activities and badges aimed at children typically around nine and 10 years old. The most striking difference between the two groups is Girl Scouts are asked to complete challenging research and critical-thinking tasks to earn badges, while the Boy Scouts seemed to emphasize "intellectual passivity," she said.

"The Girl Scout handbook required a lot of the girls intellectually. It asked them to go out and survey people and synthesize what they find," said Denny. "If I were a Boy Scout, I just didn't need to look up too many other resources, I didn't really need to exercise a lot of critical thought."

For example, Denny reported that Girl Scouts were asked to interview people in their communities, research and craft a list of citizenship responsibilities, while Boy Scouts only needed to flip their handbook and see the answers provided for them.

Very interesting. Definitely check out the entire article. In other news, Montreal is one of my favorite places.