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Doctor Leonard Sax Gender Based Learning Theory

Doctor Leonard Sax Gender Based Learning Theory

Doctor Leonard Sax is a family physician and psychologist with practice spanning over two decades. Leonard attended MIT and acquired a bachelor's degree in biology and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He later attended the University of Pennsylvania where he acquired his Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Sax, 2010). After the completion of his three year residency Sax launched family practice for an estimated 18 years’ period in Washington D.C. This happened after his long term primary practice in his Poolesville family practice in Montgomery County, Maryland. Sax has been advocating for single sex education based on his belief that both female and male children have an inherent hard wired mode or learning that is gender based (Sax, 2010). Sax retired from active medical practice in 2008, in order to attend better to his family life. He also did this to acquire better time to attend to his practical inquisition into understanding how gender differences influenced learning. Out of this quest he has become the director and founder of the National Association for single sex based education on public education (Sax, 2010).

Doctor Leonard Sax’s practice for numerous years and long term experience led him to conclude that gender differences were indeed a big influence in the learning process. According to Sax development and especially, brain development in humans occurs differently based on gender. This is the major belief which informed his assertions that learning should be gender focused because it occurs differently. Doctor Sax lacks experience in neuroscience and education (Sax, 2010). Sax’s professional achievement and practice are the major grounds upon which he bases most of his assertions in relation to learning. Sax’s differential development based on gender differences plays a great role in adding credence to the belief that the development of the brain is an essential determinant in learning processes (Lamb & Johnson, 2007). This is in line with the brain based learning theory which asserts that learning is greatly influenced by the brain development processes.

  According to the brain based development theory it is rather impossible to design an appropriate learning theory or framework without first understanding how the brain works. Brain-based learning is a principle that combines both neuroscience and the field of education to define not only the learning process, but also determine how learning occurs. As such, it is recommended that the design of the learning process and learning activities should be informed by an understanding of how learning occurs from the brain’s level.  Doctor Leonard Sax finds relevance with regard to the brain based theory, because of his belief that male and female students have different developmental paths in brain development, which in turn influences their capabilities. 

The learning process and abilities among both male and female students have been found to be slightly different and as such it would be expected that there is an inherent source of difference that is making this fact stand out in the learning process. Sax’s contribution to the debate on the differences in learning about male and female students adds strength to this assertion. This calls for not only a consideration of gender differences, but the inherent fact that is causing differences in learning processes. Sax has had extensive experience in family counseling and he has witnessed the development of most of his clients through time and this gives most of his assertions weight due to the rich experience that he owns (Sax, 2010).

Doctor Leonard Sax is highly likely to benefit from a financial perspective, because of his authorship that already covers issues of differences in learning abilities among male and female students. He bases these differences on differential brain development processes among male and female students. As such, these assertions offer credence to his works of authorship that present these differences and their elaboration (Chipongian, 2011). Any researcher or academician seeking to comprehend brain based development differences, and especially with regard to gender, should review Sax’s works, because they offer an in-depth elaboration on the issue.

Apart from the financial benefit Sax’s assertions also benefit in terms of support from the brain based theory. The fact that the differences in brain development are essential in learning indirectly implies that differences in the same that occur as a result of gender are equally essential in determining the learning process. In essence Doctor Sax is a credible source on issue relating to brain based learning because of his extensive experience in the field of psychology (Sax, 2010). As a practitioner, Sax has witnessed the development of most of his clients through time and he can offer authoritative stands about their developmental differences based on his observations (Chipongian, 2011).

In conclusion, Doctor Leonard Sax lacks direct neuroscience based knowledge on differences in brain development, and he also lacks direct knowledge in the field of education. However, his knowledge on psychology and long-term experience in dealing with the young learning populace grants him credence to make a stand on the brain based development theory because of his findings about the possible differential development among the learning aged youth based on their gender. In essence Doctor Sax may lack direct knowledge on education or neuroscience, but his practice and professional field overlap the two and thus offer great weight to the observances that he makes with regard to learning and knowledge acquisition as determined by differences in gender. As a professional he stands to benefit from the brain based theory’s support to his assertions as well as a financial benefit from the sale of his books that handle issues of differences in learning based on gender and inherent brain development processes.


Chipongian, L. (2011). What is “Brain-Based Learning”? Retrieved on 25thFebruary 2012 from https://brainconnection.brainhq.com/2004/03/26/what-is-brain-based-learning/

Lamb, A and Johnson, L. (2007),. Brain-Based (Compatible) Learning, retrieved on 25th February 2012 from http://eduscapes.com/tap/topic70.htm

Sax, L. (2010),. Leonard Sax MD PhD. Retrieved on 25th February 2012 fromhttp://www.whygendermatters.com/

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