Boys catch up to girls maturity in all-day schools

Girls mature earlier in school than boys, but it is changing in Germany where studies show, that boys in all-day schools catch up to their peer female classmates.

By Stefan S. Weichert and Anders Godtfred-Rasmussen.

Rimma und Maria
Dr. Rimma Kanevski and Prof. Dr. Maria von Salisch’s study has shown, that boys catch up to girls in maturity in all-day schools. Photo: Anders Godtfred-Rasmussen.

Ten years have passed since the all-day school system was implemented in Germany. Similar to the system that the Danish government wants to incorporate in Denmark. In Germany, the scientists have measured that the academic level has risen since the all-day school system was introduced, but besides the academic level, the system has shown other positive effects.

A study from 2013, made by Dr. Rimma Kanevski & Prof. Dr. Maria von Salisch from the Leuphana University in Lüneburg, shows a number of results. Their study was made throughout three years, where they have followed pupils from all-day schools and traditional schools from 7th and until 9th grade. One result is that pupils at all-day schools are evolving more quickly mentally compared to the normal school system.

“From our study we can see, that the pupils in all-day schools are more aware of their own and others feelings than students from traditional schools – so called maturity. Especially boys are evolving faster, actually to the same level as their female peers,” says Dr. Rimma Kanevski.

Results in all-day schools
The graph on top shows the results in all-day schools where boys catch up to girls in maturity. The findings are based on a series of questions throughout three years. In the graphs are showed two measuring points – first in 7th grade and then in the 9th. Source: Peer-Netzwerke und Freundschaften in Ganztagsschulen by R. Kanevski and M. v. Salisch.
Results in half-day schools
This graph on top shows the results in the old school system in Germany, which also is called half-day schools. Source: Peer-Netzwerke und Freundschaften in Ganztagsschule by R. Kanevski and M. v. Salisch.

The development in the traditional schools is opposite – the girls mature faster than the boys, who stay at the same level behind the girls. The study also shows that boys are less aggressive in all-days schools compared to traditional schools.

Pupils from all-day school also have more friends inside school than their fellow pupils from traditional schools and retain the same number of friends outside of school.

“It is surprising, that they do not have less friends in their spare time, as they stay longer in school than in the traditional schools. It shows how important this type of school is for kids. They develop their personal relationships with fellow students faster and to a higher level than the traditional schools,” says Prof. Dr. Maria von Salisch.

Hear Prof. Dr. Maria von Salisch explain what she thinks of her and Dr. Rimma Kanevskis findings.

Read more: Large sport clubs will survive the all-day school – small might die 

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