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Single-Sex Schooling: Is It Really Beneficial?

Free «Single-Sex Schooling: Is It Really Beneficial?» Essay Sample

Single-sex schooling is a controversial topic that has been debated for many years. This type of schooling has gender-separate classrooms. Single-sex schooling puts girls in a separate room from boys and vice versa. Thus, the question on whether this form of schooling is beneficial depends on a multiplicity of variables. Some of these variables are age, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class. Some critics argue that single-sex schooling is not beneficial at all. Gender differences are not necessarily innate. Individual differences, especially in learning styles, outdo the gender differences. Therefore, there are chances that both girls and boys can perform better when taught in the same-sex schools or even coed classrooms. One can argue for single-sex schools using the effects of variables such as school-related behaviors and academic achievements. Arguably, single-sex schooling is beneficial for both boys and girls.

There is lively debate over the issue of single-sex education as opposed to coeducation. Most parents view coed schools as a place that is not preferable for their children. The reasons they offer are that coed schools are the places where children get excited. It is a place of competition in terms of who is cool, who is dating who, and who likes who. For them, these cases are seldom in single-sex schools. In short, many people find that same sex schools have a positive attitude to academics than in coed schools. These students develop better organizational skills as they are more involved in all classroom activities than the ones in coeducational schools. Many countries have combinations and also sequences of mixed and single-sex schooling. The topics of same-sex classes continue USA, Pakistan, UK, Japan and other countries. The Irish and Northern education has a long history of single-sex schools for all age levels (Shah and Conchar 191).

American public schools adopt single-sex schools or classrooms. The University of Wisconsin-Madison was a part of the study on single-sex schools. According to students, in 2009-2010, thousands of American public schools continue to offer single-sex academic classes. The findings were conflicting as most schools have poor quality studies, but on the other hand others have the best. Parents who choose these types of schools in America are mostly wealthy and educated. So, if their children perform well, it may be due to the fact that they started with these advantages. The country needs urgent, high-quality research to compare coed and single-sex schools. It is essential to compare students with equal resources. Nonetheless, some research in social psychology demonstrates that segregation of kids by gender feeds stereotypes. The outside world is an integrated place, and as such the best option according to Shah and Conchar, (191), is to provide students with an environment that prepares them for adulthood.

In Britain, the introduction of education in the nineteenth century established single-sex schools. In the mixed schools, girls and infants used different entrances, separate from boys. The reason Britain had single-sex schools was that boys went to the upper-class schools, while girls had to get a limited education at home. Boys had to learn appropriate sorts of masculinity and girls accomplish aspects that make them marriageable. With the idea in mind, it was a struggle for people in the 1870s to advocate for girls schools of the same level as the one for boys. It was a concern that the upper classes were secluding girls. Institutions such as Cambridge and Oxford offered teacher-training in same-sex education. In the late 19th century, residents established concerns that same-sex schools could lead to homosexuality among their children. That is when progressive educators started considering establishing coed secondary schools. However, co-education of primary or elementary schools began in 1920s in the UK (Shah and Conchar 192). Extensive debates continue the merits of both coeducational and single-sex schools at all levels. Even though the topic raises strong emotions.

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In countries such as Australia, single-sex schools are interwoven between public and private schooling. Some people consider single-sex education as anachronistic. It reflects the early times when male and female had diverse educational needs, which were linked to the gender roles. In early times, coeducation was perceived to be a means of achieving gender equity. Many arguments challenge that stance and have led to the implementation of various single-sex interventions in different settings. Coeducation is one way that has been used to address gender equity in school enrollments, as well as attainments in mathematics learning. Coeducation setting is more beneficial to male than female (Park, Behrman, and Choi 447).

Atweh et al. did a comparison of academic outcomes of single-sex schools and in public, coeducational high schools (216). The research revealed that boys and girls are both advantaged by single-sex environments. But, girls have more benefits than boys. In Catholic single-sex schools, boys were found to perform better than their counterparts in coeducational schools. On the other hand, girls in the single-sex schools demonstrated highest scores as compared to both boys and girls in coeducational schools. More so, girls outperformed their male and female peers on all measures. Girls in single-sex Catholic schools got higher maths scores than the ones in coeducational schools (Atweh et al. 216).

Studies done on ethnic groups in single-sex and coeducational schools has diverse results. For one, the results suggest that single-sex schools are beneficial for white, male and female as well as female minority groups. Studies on Latino and African-American students in single-sex schools show that they outperform their peers in coeducational schools (Skelton, Francis, and Smulyan 190). Most of the girls in single-sex schools attain a higher score that the ones in coeducation schools. At Cambridge University, researchers did a study on gender difference in classrooms. The findings showed that a single-sex class was an effective strategy to boost the performance of boys, especially in languages, both English and foreign. Boys in these schools love choral singing, become fluent in French and excel in drama compared to the ones in coed schools. (Skelton, Francis, and Smulyan 190).

National Association for Single Sex Public Education (NASSPE) studies show that girls in same sex school are likely to attend college compared with others in coeducation schools. Similarly, boys in single-sex schools also have a higher chance of attending four-year college as compared to those graduating from coed schools. From the analysis, it is notable that single-sex schools are linked to college entrance as well as exam scores. As such, it is more beneficial for girls and boys to attend same sex schools as opposed to coeducational schools. The reason for that is that these students have a higher percentage of getting into college and graduating when compared to pupils in coeducational schools.

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A same sex class format creates opportunities for students that do not exist in coed schools. In fact, teachers have the opportunity of employing strategies in an all-girls or boys class that cannot work well in a coed classroom. What is more important for these teachers is getting professional development and training on strategies to use in gender-specific classes. NASSPE illustrates a research done in Florida to compare single-sex and coed classrooms at Woodward Avenue Elementary School. The research on students sitting for FCAT in single-sex and coed classrooms gave different findings. Boys in coeducational school scored proficient. On the other hand, eighty-six percent of these boys in the same sex classes scored proficient. As for the girls, coed classes scored fifty-nine percent proficient. Comparatively, girls in the single-sex class scored seventy-five percent (Skelton, Francis, and Smulyan 192).

There are public schools adopting single-sex classrooms with no appropriate preparation, thus resulting in bad outcomes. Another important issue that makes single-sex school less beneficial is the gap in the performance of single-gender and coed classrooms (Chrisler and McCreary 288). Today, coed classrooms are catching up due to strategies teachers are employed in these classes. Most critics of single-sex classes insist that people should work against gender differences or ignore the differences. But one cannot overlook the fact that teachers use their experience in suggesting the opposite. Teachers propose that it is vital to work in consonance with gender differences as it can boost performance for both boys and girls in single-sex and coed classrooms.

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Another contrary opinion on the issue is that not everyone conforms to single-sex schools. New research questions the assumption that same-sex schools benefit everyone. There are individuals who do not conform to gender norms. Some boys and girls cannot fit in same sex schools as they come from backgrounds with both sexes. In a peer-reviewed journal on sex roles, researchers found that girls in single-sex schools report feeling pressure to act like a typical girl than the ones in coeducational. The tween-aged girls have to display characteristics of an ideal lady to avoid victimization from peers. (Chrisler and McCreary 289-290). However, such an association is not present in mixed-sex schools. What is more, girls had to ensure they behave like other ladies and not like boys to avoid bothering other kids in school. In short, this study in Colombia suggests that it does not matter where the girls’ schools. The pressure to keep up with gender norms is present in mixed-sex schools. As such, parents have to take all factors into consideration before choosing what type of school is best for their children.

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In conclusion, the context of single-sex schooling differs around the world. Gender-segregated schools are mostly cultural or religious in most countries. However, they are available in other regions as an alternative that allows parents choose as they feel best suits their children. Studies on comparisons of school-related attitudes and performance of students in the same-sex school demonstrate inconsistent findings. However, one can argue for single-sex schooling as noted above, girls are likely to do well in computer science, physic and even advanced math. As well, boys have a better chance of studying subjects such as arts, languages, drama and music in same-sex classrooms.

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