Perhaps the grass is always greener on the other side of the school fence. Bigler and Signorella attempts to quantify the increases in single-sex classes and schools in the United States and cites several reasons for the increases, including concerns about gender equity and poor educational outcomes in schools serving low-income youth of color. Most of the reviews of the literature to date that encompass research from across the globe are considered to show little to no difference or are deemed inconclusive or contradictory. In single sex schools, girls in particular can be very intense emotionally, which could potentially distract them from achieving their full potential. In mixed sex schools, good teachers should be able to play to these strengths and maximise the competitive and dominant nature of boys and the collaborative, project-based nature of girls to achieve the highest levels of both educational attainment and social development.
Liben also identified choice as another key value mentioned by promoters of single-sex education and discussed the clashes that occur when these different types of evidence e. Over the decades, the single sex schools versus mixed schools debate has resurfaced frequently with strong opinions on both sides. Liben , Riordan , and Salomone spanned the largest historical periods, whereas Gill Australia and Bigler and Signorella United States focused mostly on the 20th century. Some research also indicates that far from breaking down gender stereotypes, sex segregation can actually promote these stereotypes among students. New perspectives and evidence on a continuing controversy. Research from schools in which random assignment was conducted, if possible, or that employ statistical or methodological controls to account for preexisting differences or confounding factors may help resolve the controversy. In the United States, single-sex public options, whether in one classroom or in an entire school, have increased as a result in changes in federal education regulations. Riordan provides an overview of all justifications in support of single-sex schools but questions the value of single-sex classes within mixed-sex schools. Finding a male bathroom in the school was harder than finding males themselves. Liben scrutinizes the disagreements from the perspectives of science and of values. Mixed schools are arguably kinder and less pressured environments than single sex schools, with less gender specific intensity and a more balanced approach. No cute promposals at school, no notes snuck around during class or in lockers. Without boys at our school, girls were forced to do the asking when it came to dances. By attending a mixed school, children could be seen to have a head start in life — a natural ability to feel at ease with the opposite sex which is essential for success in their adult life. Riordan , Riordan , and Salomone are proponents of single-sex education, although not necessarily for all students. The radio debate between Hyde and Sax in is illustrative of the challenge in reconciling the views. By using gender specific teaching techniques, staff at single sex schools can get the most out of lesson time and enhance the learning experience for their students. Major areas of contention are that in many cases, the single-sex class or school may be different in ways that go beyond gender, and that the students and their families who choose a single-sex option may vary in crucial ways, such as having a higher- than-average commitment to education. There is a danger that children in single sex schools can view the other sex in an entirely unrealistic, ideological way. Popular views of gender and single-sex education as important determinants of student success are, however, in conflict with the results of research showing little difference and much inconsistency. She reviewed some of the most frequently cited works that take a gender-essentialist approach. It made me realize truly that regardless of my surroundings, I am entitled to that feeling of security, safety, and confidence being myself. Critics of single sex schools claim that mixed schools are a far better environment for teaching children a broader range of essential life skills. Single sex schools enable girls and boys to feel free to learn and discover any subject, with girls able to pursue interest in male-dominated subjects such as maths and science and boys able to explore music and the arts. Many comparisons have been made in many countries to test whether there is an advantage to one gender context or another, yet the conclusions remain under dispute. Life at an all girls school, in comparison for some, was a whole different reality. Many educational experts believe that girls and boys have different learning needs and that in single sex schools teachers can use particular techniques designed specifically to suit the gender of their school.
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Single sex vs co-ed schools, which is better?
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