The number of subjects benefiting from single-sex discussion is so small that this could easily be organised within a co-educational system. It would still be discrimination if there were only male single-sex schools; as long as both genders are catered for, this discrimination is redressed. As the report noted, 'boys and girls both thrive when the elements of good education are there, elements like smaller classes, focused academic curriculum and gender-fair instruction'. As the debate heats up, it helps to understand all sides of the issue. Critics of single sex schools claim that mixed schools are a far better environment for teaching children a broader range of essential life skills. It is therefore easier to implement an education strategy geared specifically towards one gender. Few educators are formally trained to use gender-specific teaching techniques. One mother, whose daughter has attended a girls-only school for three years, shared her experience on the GreatSchools parent community:
What are the advantages of single sex schools? The advantages of single sex schools Why are single sex schools good for education? Research showed that girls did better in math and science in all-girl settings. Niche Niche helps you discover the schools and neighborhoods that are right for you. 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. In , Education Secretary Margaret Spellings eased federal regulations, allowing schools to offer single-sex classrooms and schools, as long as such options are completely voluntary. Thus, when it comes time for these students to head into the workforce, or even to college, they will face an adjustment period. Some research into gender differences in learning even looks at how girls and boys respond differently to changes in temperature, suggesting that girls prefer warmer rooms while boys prefer to learn in cooler conditions. Mixed schools are arguably kinder and less pressured environments than single sex schools, with less gender specific intensity and a more balanced approach. A driving force in the single-sex education movement is recent research showing natural differences in how males and females learn. 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. These can all be present in co-educational schools. But single-sex education enhances student success when teachers use techniques geared toward the gender of their students. Pro Teachers can employ instruction techniques geared toward specific genders. Are mixed schools the way forward? For a sensitive boy or an assertive girl, the teaching style promoted by advocates of single-sex education could be ineffective at best or detrimental at worst. The Case for Single-Gender Classrooms Jefferson Leadership Academies was in the spotlight in when it became the first public middle school in the United States to have entirely single-gender classes. Some research indicates that girls learn better when classroom temperature is warm, while boys perform better in cooler classrooms. Census Bureau , from prekindergarten to senior year of high school, male students outnumber female students significantly in public school classrooms: Girls, for example, prefer collaborative and discussion-based learning while boys can dominate discussions and group-based teamwork. It is therefore easier to implement an education strategy geared specifically towards one gender. Leonard Sax and others agree that merely placing boys in separate classrooms from girls accomplishes little. Certain subjects are best taught in single-sex classrooms, such as sex education or gender issues. This move gives parents and school districts greater flexibility. The American Council on Education reports that there is less academic disparity between male and female students overall and a far greater achievement gap between students in different racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups, with poor and minority students children faring poorly. At least one study found that the higher the percentage of girls in a co-ed classroom, the better the academic performance for all students both male and female.
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