Single-sex education, also known as single-gender education, is the practice of managing education with male and female students attending separate classes, perhaps in separate buildings or schools with the same sex.
Many educators have been looking for a way to better schools’ education but what if the answer is single-gender schooling?
Typically, public schools do not offer single-sex education. However, today at least 366 public schools in the nation are either entirely single-sex or have single-sex classrooms. Gradually, more and more school districts evaluate the pros and cons of single-sex education.
The National Association for Single-Sex Public Education studies shows students that single-sex classrooms tend to perform better academically than coed schools. In a study in Florida, the results showed the following outcomes:
- Boys in coed classes scored 37% proficient on standardized tests
- Girls in coed classes scored 59% proficient on standardized tests
- Boys in single-sex classes scored 75% proficient on standardized tests
- Girls in single-sex classes scored 86% proficient on standardized tests
While the studies show an obvious increase for single-sex schools, other studies show the complete opposite.
The Pros to Co-Education
Co-education can be very important with many benefits as can it help in bring up healthy competition among the opposite sexes educating them through failures and struggles that they will come across in life. These relationships can also help grow healthy bonds as well as get students ready for adulthood where they will have to work with men and women, not only single gender. Studies show students who have studied in co-ed schools have an easier time working in such environments.
“Being only used to people of the same gender might pose a problem once the need to interact with the opposite sex sets in,” Albert says.
But Rachel Connell, the rector of Chatham Hall, an all-girls day and boarding school in Virginia, says a good deal can be done to help students adapt social skills.
“With a vast array of co-curricular and extracurricular activities, any school can offer its students a broad spectrum of opportunities and interactions,” she says.
Pros to Single Gender Education
Does a Single Gender Environment Reduce Behavioral Issues?
As some educators search for a way to better avoid behavior problems in the classroom. Researchers say that having a single-sex environment does have lower chances of struggling with behavioral issues. The reasoning for this is simple, most students feel more comfortable around the same gender without concern for the opinions or perspectives of the opposite sex.
“In single-gender schools, boys are often more willing to take risks because they don’t feel the fear of failing in front of the other sex,” says Matt Albert, executive director of the Center for Reflective Communities in Los Angeles. Failing can be a scary thing, as it usually holds back students from speaking out scared of failing. No one wants to look dumb in front of peers especially those of the other gender. Students are commonly self-conscious and worry about what their peers will think if they ask questions but being in a group of the same sex could perhaps make students feel at ease.
Another con in coed schools is gender stereotyping. Gender stereotyping is defining someone and overgeneralizing characteristics and differences based on their gender. When you have to rise to others’ expectations while trying to keep up with the school it can be very hard for teens our expectations usually come from the opposite sex who doesn’t understand life through a girl’s or guy’s eyes.
Does Single Gender School Match Parents’ Values for Education?
Parents who are in search of private schools might consider Single-Gender schools and evidence shows that students in single-sex schools outperform their counterparts in co-ed schools, by 5–10% of a standard deviation for boys and 4–7% for girls, as single-gender schools can establish more relaxed environments, less gender stereotyping, and courses can be adjusted to student needs and interests.
In Coed schools, students might feel held back not able to express themselves scared to ask questions and think freely without being judged. This means Students in Single Gender schools could move at their own pace without worrying about being comparison with their peers who might develop some skills more quickly than others.