Single Sex Classrooms
Single sex classrooms create opportunities that do not really exist in a coed classroom for students. Teachers can create learning strategies in all girl classrooms, and in all boy classrooms, which do not work as well in coed classrooms. Many public schools are beginning to adopt the single sex classroom ideas and seeing dramatic improvement with grades and test scores. The strongest proof yet, that separating boys and girls works, is the drastic improvement in grades for both sexes. But to simply place girls in a classroom and boys in another classroom is not going to work.
Teachers should have special training for practical gender-specific classroom strategies and learn the best practices for these gender-separate classrooms. In the book “Gender and Education” the authors Barbara Banks, Sara Delamont, and Catherine Marshall specifically state: “Teacher interactions with students are at the heart of the hidden curriculum and are important means by which informal lessons about gender are transmitted in schools” (Banks571). Single sex classrooms simply create more opportunities and a better learning environment for our children that coed classrooms do not create.
Girls in all girl classrooms and boys in all boy classrooms are more likely to study subjects that they would not necessarily choose if the class was coed. It also expands ideas of educational opportunities and core values for both boys and girls, and the classes generate custom created learning strategies and instructions to better learning. Girls in all girl classrooms and boys in all boy classrooms are more likely to study subjects that they wouldn’t necessarily choose if the class was coeducational, in my opinion. Single sex classrooms bring a broader horizon for our students more so than coeducational classrooms.
Kenneth Jost the author of Single Sex Education quotes in his book “Sex segregation and discrimination persists in high school programs around the country, 30 years after Congress passed a law barring such discrimination in education” (Jost1). Single sex education advocates say the solution is quite easy just let boys be boys and girls be girls. Leonard Sax states in his book “Boys Adrift” that “the solution is to let boys and girls attend separate classes, so that you can take advantage of the ‘sex differences’ in learning styles”(Sax,174).
You breakdown stereotypes by letting the sexes be separate. When you put boys and girls together, it just increases the gender roles. The boys do things that are thought of as typical for boys, and girls do things that are thought of as typical for girls. You do not see many girls wanting to take classes such as welding class, building workshop, weight room, architect design, and sports education. There definitely would not be many boys wanting to take classes such as drama, art, home economics, sewing class, and foreign languages.
So if you eliminate the gender bias and the need to impress the opposite sex, you would possibly begin to see boys’ willingness to engage in what would be considered “feminine activities,” such as choir or drama club. Girls’ willingness to engage in “manly activities”, such as welding and building workshops, and pro-dominantly male sports may increase also. Single sex classrooms expand ideas, educational opportunities, and core values for both sexes. Leonard Sax states in his book “Boys Adrift”, “A boy does not naturally become a gentleman-by whom I mean, a man who is courteous, kind, and unselfish.
That behavior is not hardwired. It has to be taught” (Sax163). Most boy schools make a point of teaching boys to be gentlemen, to have self-discipline, and how to be a leader. This may be more important to learn than their actual school work. “Teenage boys without strong leadership can easily become barbarians” (Sax165). Sax was correct when he stated this, and this is exactly what is wrong with our male population today. This is why I feel so strongly about these single sex teaching atmospheres.
In coed schools, boys tend to adopt a masculine attitude because girls are there. They feel they have to demonstrate their masculinity by gross macho over-reaction. Boys in single-sex schools become more sensitive men, and they are more polite. All girl schools focus entirely on girls, to improve their learning and self-esteem. It also motivates girls to try and reach goals, that they normally may find unattainable, because it is a “guy thing”. If there are no guys around, there is nothing to hold them back.
Single sex education helps girls overcome the male sexism that still exist in public schools, and girls are at center stage at all girl schools with only girls in the audience. Educational opportunities such as less sex bias in teacher-student interactions. Reducing sex differences in curricula and more successful role models for girls. Girls at single sex schools are more likely to take nontraditional classes such as physics and advanced math because they have the opportunity to excel in them.
This is mostly related to smaller classes and there being no gender bias. Also, it installs values such as, to work for and achieve excellent grades, create greater self-esteem, good character development, responsibility, and leadership. “Girls receive less teacher attention than boys, feel less comfortable speaking out in class, and face threats of sexual harassment in school”(Barbara1), as Santa Barbara states in her article. If that is true, why would you not want your child in single sex classrooms, so they could learn without fear or embarrassment?
The single sex organizational arrangement spared students the interruptions and distractive aspects that are normally in coeducational classrooms. If these classes are offered, maybe girls would focus more on their studies and grades, instead of their looks and clothing. Not having to worry or be afraid of harassment from boys. Also by separating the classes, the overall population would decrease, giving students smaller learning environments. Other opportunities that come from these classes are lessons that students relate to and want to learn.
No girl wants to read a science fiction book, and no boy wants to read a love story. This causes teachers to have a tough time finding lessons to teach the class that both genders can relate to. But with single gender classes the teachers’ lesson can be more suitable for each gender. This makes learning experience more interesting and fun. Giving students more educational opportunities. Single Sex classrooms generate custom created learning strategies and instructions to better student learning. Teachers have to customize what they do, to the needs and abilities of each individual student.
In single-sex schools, teachers are free to choose materials that fit the interests of their students. In coed schools, the females are often held back or held down to the abilities and interests of the males. Teachers should have special training for practical gender-specific classroom strategies and learn the best practices for the gender-separate classroom. Boys perceive the coed school as an institution run largely by women, and run largely according to women’s rules: (examples: “ sit still”, “don’t make too much noise”, “don’t be disruptive”, etc. ).
They see that the majority of the top students are girls, and the “teacher’s pet” is either a female or a geek. So, many boys may devalue academic excellence. If you’re a male at a coed school, being an “A” student does not raise your status with other guys. At many coed schools, being an “A” student may actually lower your status with other boys. Girls and boys that attend same sex schools tend to have higher test scores and high grades in general, rather than their counterparts that go to coeducational schools. Boys’ and girls’ brains develop differently.
These differences are especially significant for learning in the early years. Then, as they get older, girls and boys distract each other from academics because of normal social and sexual development. The needs of each sex are completely opposite therefor the emphasis of a school for boys should not be required to be the same as a school for girls. These classes and schools also benefit kids with learning disabilities. It gives them more time with a teacher and less distractions. Also, teachers are able to create lesson plans that help focus their attention on what they need to be learning.
Statistics show that girls excel in reading and writing while boys excel more so in science and math. With single gender classrooms boys could excel in English because teachers could give them topics to write about that interest them. Unlike the topic the teacher would have to pick to go with a coeducational class. Boys could write about gladiators or soldiers, and the teacher not discourage them. But encourage them to become more detailed, even if it is not sweet or nice, because there are no girls in the class to compare it to.
The issue to often is boys think writing stories is for girls and geeks. Real boys play games and sports. That is the message which many coed schools today are unintentionally giving to males. Teachers in all-boys schools can send a different message. “Girls are more likely to be excessively critical in evaluating their own academic performance. Conversely, boys tend to have unrealistically high estimates of their own academic abilities and accomplishments” (Pomerantz396). So with that statement I think teachers who teach single gender classes should focus on promoting girls to believe in themselves.
These teachers should help boys to really focus on their academics, rather than let them think unrealistically and challenge them to do better. Psychologists have found fundamental differences in what motivates females, compared to males. “Researchers have consistently found that girls are more concerned than boys are with pleasing adults, such as parents and teachers. Most boys, on the other hand, will be less motivated to study, unless the material itself interest them” (Pomerantz, Altermatt, & Saxon, 2002, p. 397). Boys and girls experience different academic difficulties.
Therefore, maybe the best thing to do is separate the genders and have teachers who are qualified in teaching single gender classrooms teach them. Single sex classes and schools strive to help improve students’ achievement. Single sex schools are no longer limited to providing an alternative educational route for girls. Today, boys also need this type of school environment, in order to learn effectively and be productive young men. Single sex classes and schools can help bring about greater race and social-class equality.
This has become the final frontier in creating true equality of educational opportunity for all. Studies have shown when public schools have tried the single gender classrooms the results are: a decrease in disciplinary problems, higher scores on standardized test, and over all educational achievement. The benefits of single-sex schools are not only just academics. Single-sex education has been shown to expand the students’ outlook on life. Allowing freedom to explore one’s own strengths and interests in life. With no fear of gender stereotypes holding them back.