Is same sex schooling better?

The age-old debate around single sex schools versus mixed schools is back on the educational agenda once more, with experts from across the education sector still divided on the subject.

Some children thrive in a single-sex school. Why? For one thing, the social pressures can be significantly lower. Your child can grow at his own pace. This often is a good thing for both boys and girls, as they typically mature at different rates. The faculty at single-sex schools also keenly understand how their students learn. They adapt their teaching styles to those specific needs.

Many proponents of single-sex education argue that boys in coeducational settings are less likely to take courses in the arts or tackle advanced academic subjects simply to avoid being typecast as a nerd. Similarly, girls avoid the sciences and technology subjects because they don’t want to appear to be tomboys. Single-sex schools are flourishing once again as parents realize that allowing their son or daughter to learn in his or her own individual way is a very important consideration in choosing a school.

If the teacher understands how to teach boys or girls, they can employ specific teaching strategies and engage classes in activities that accomplish specific goals. Often girls are empowered to become leaders, and boys are taught to better collaborate.

In the right environment, students will quickly feel comfortable exploring non-traditional subjects.

For girls, this is often mathematics, advanced sciences, computers, technology, and woodworking. Boys often participate more in the arts, humanities, languages, choirs, and orchestras in single-sex settings.

Children will break out of their stereotypical roles and behavior when they are left to their own devices.

Single-sex education has a delightful way of encouraging children to be fearless, to be curious, to be enthusiastic – in short, to just be themselves. Students in single-sex schools are often more willing to take risks because they do not fear to fall on their face in front of the other sex. As a result, the classrooms in these schools are often dynamic, free, and bursting with ideas and conversation, all hallmarks of a great education. While teachers in co-ed schools sometimes beg their students to contribute to class discussion, this is not true in single-sex schools a great deal of the time.

We have spent several generations advancing the equality of the sexes. Beginning with the women’s suffrage movement and continuing through to the present day many legal and social barriers to women’s equality with men have been removed. Much progress has been made.

With that in mind coeducation which is based on that laudable theme of equality seems like the right way to go. That’s why most private and public schools use the coeducation model. Most of the time that works well.

On the other hand, some research seems to suggest that boys and girls learn in different ways.

Research shows that a girl’s brain is different from a boy’s brain.

If you accept that premise, coeducation probably will not work satisfactorily for every child. Coeducation does have the advantage of being politically acceptable. Recently public schools have begun to experiment with single-sex classes, and, in some cases, single-sex schools.

Basically, it seems to conclude that there is not enough evidence to suggest single-sex education is better than coeducation or vice-versa.

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