Single-sex education, also known as single-gender education, is the practice of conducting education where male and females students attend separate classes or in separate buildings or schools. It has been a topic of debate especially for parents who have to think about where to send their children to school. There are many reasons and evidence to suggest that single sex schools are more beneficial. They provide students to learn better, allow them to socialize without pressure from the other sex and the increased academic records of students in these types of schools.
It has been argued that single-sex schools produce students from different sexes to learn from and about each other. Male and female students can learn from each other’s approaches and learn to collaborate, each bringing their style to bear in working for common goals. This is claimed as in important learning opportunity by advocates of education. However, according to Leonard Sax, founder of the national association for single-sex public education agree that placing boys in separate classrooms from boys accomplishes little.
However, as head of the national association for single-sex public schools has pointed out that boys and girls have distinct needs in the classroom, for example, girls do better in warmer classrooms while boys prefer cooler ones. Separating them allows those needs to be met, which will help them to learn more effectively. Moreover, ‘A 2001British study of 2954 high schools and 979 primary showed that male and female students learn and perform better In single sex schools, regardless of socio-economic and ability levels’. Single sex schools do not give children enough of a social environment to keep them interested in applying themselves day after day. They lose interest as they become teenagers; they become less interested in school and education because simply they do not interact with the other gender during school hours. Developmental research finds better mental health outcomes among children who develop a mix of traditionally masculine and feminine skills and interests. In spite of, we can not ignore the fact that children constantly interact with members of the opposite sex outside school. From playing and squabbling with siblings to negotiate allowances, chores and privilege with their opposite sex parent, children learn and practice on a daily basis the skills they will need in the future.
Furthermore, children are subjected to an avalanche of pressure from the other sex and from every quarter to become adults before they are ready to do so. They grow up too quickly. Why not let them be children for a few more years? Single sex education with its gentler, more controlled social outlets is just the ticket for many children. Meanwhile, at many coed schools, it is not “cool” for kids to be excited about school. The game of who likes who, who is going out with who, who is cool and who is not, is what is really important at most coed schools. That is seldom the case at single-sex schools. Some critics say that there is no clear research showing that single-sex schools improve students’ academic performance. Indeed, rigorous educational research has found that, contrary to popular belief, single-sex education does not produce better achievement outcomes. However, Single-sex education is taking public school students to a new level, providing them with a greater variety of academic opportunities. More importantly, studies show that single-sex education vastly improves students’ reading scores, their overall grades and their acceptance into college.
John Fairhurst, principal of the Fairhurst High School (in Essex, in southeastern England) decided to reinvent his school as two single-sex academies under one roof. The students would take the same courses from the same teachers, but boys and girls would attend separate classes. Three years after making the change, the proportion of Shenfield boys achieving high scores on standardized tests had risen by 26%. The girls performance improved only slightly less, by 22%, and they still outperformed the boys. In addition, educational researcher Cornelius Riordan, Professor of Society at Providence College and author of Girls and Boys in School: Together or Separate? Sums it up: “Females especially do better academically in single-sex schools and colleges across a variety of cultures”.
In conclusion, Single-sex schools provide students to learn better, allow them to socialize without pressure and last but not least, the increased academic achievement records. The benefits of single-sex schools are not only academic. Just as importantly, single-sex education has been shown to broaden students’ horizons, to allow them to feel free to explore their own strengths and interests.
The National Association for Same Sex Education, Posted at http://www.singlesexschools.org Rowe, Ken. ” Boys and Girls Perform Better in Same Sex Schools.” Keynote address at the National Conference of Co-Education, posted at http://www.acer.edu.au/new s/MR_pages/MR_singlesexschools%2020.04.00.html A. Stables. Differences between pupils from mixed and single-sex schools in their enjoyment of school subjects and in their attitudes to science and to school. Educational Review, 42(3):221-230, 1990. Judith O’Reilly, “Mixed school hits new heights with single-sex classes.” Sunday Times (London), August 20, 2000.a
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