Single Sex Schooling
Major arguments are weather single sex schools district would increase confidence and self esteem, increase academic test scores and grades, and increase students socially. There should be single sex public school districts. Single-Sex Schools have been discriminated against by many due to the belief that students will not be able to function comfortably with the opposite sex when leaving to attend a co-educational College or University. This belief is also tied with the thought that single-sex schools represent segregation; many people do believe that these types of schools promote the separation of males and females.
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Some also believe that all single-sex schools result in people not being able to function socially with opposite gender when place in the real world. However, all of these beliefs are far from the truth. Studies have shown that attending single-sex schools can be very beneficial in succeeding both academically and socially. Gender-separate format can boost grades and test scores for both girls and boys (Haag, 2000). Single-Sex education is especially beneficial for young females and young males.
This type of education offers both genders a more comfortable way of learning, students feel more comfortable asking questions and speaking up in a classroom setting. Teachers can focus on gender issues facing young females or males today, such as body concerns as well as focusing on more challenging subjects for young girls and boys (Messinger, 2001). Through studies made from various single-sex female schools, as well as the research made through comparisons to coeducational schools, the belief that single-sex school as being a bad idea is shown to be not only incorrect, but also a completely misguided beliefs.
One point of argument is whether single sex schooling will increase confidence and self esteem. This issue —-Unfortunately, for many adolescent and teenage girls, eating disorders and body concerns are very prevalent. However, according to a study made by Janel Messinger, The Truth about Single- Sex Schooling representative from the Department of psychology at the City University of New York, single-sex schooling is shown to have fewer cases of eating disorders compared to co-ed schools.
Messinger states that the body image and eating disturbances are due to a sense of gender ambivalence resulting from increased exposure to conflicting gender role prescription (Messinger, 2001). This statement is saying that when young females are in a mixed environment it is hard to determine what is a healthy image and what is not. James Coleman, author of “The Adolescent Society”, also shares the belief that body concerns play a major role in a co-ed environment. Coleman states that co-educational schools create an environment of dating and popularity being more important than education (Dollison, 1998).
For females especially appearance plays a major role in adolescents. To be in an environment with the opposite sex seems to increase this pressure; thus making schoolwork and education play a much lesser role. While attending a single-sex school, girls have a decreased chance of being exposed to sex-role stereotyping (Messinger, 5). These stereotypes of how females should be create many girls to do anything to achieve perfection even if this does mean hurting their education in the process. Throughout middle school and high school, many females begin to suffer from not only body issues, but also poor self-esteem.
However, studies have been conducted on the self-esteem of females in single-sex and mixed-sex schools. These studies have been made by processing not just general self-esteem, but rather more multidimensional measures in categories such as academic, athletic, and social esteem (Haag, 2). A study made from British journalist E. Cairns, found that, self-esteem and the locus of control (meaning the individual sense of how the environment hinders or facilitates to personal goals), are shown to be associated as benefits of single-sex schooling (Haag, 2).
This shows how a sense of self worth is increased while attending schools that focus on just one gender, rather than having to balance between two. Another study made from researchers, Granleese and Joseph; found that girls at single-sex school were much less critical of behavioral conduct, than mixed school females (Haag, 2). Therefore, single sex schooling will increase student’s confidence and self esteem. Another point of argument is whether single- sex schools will broaden the horizons of the students that attend.
A survey made on mixed-sex and single sex young females between the ages of 11-12 and 15-16 found that the girls who attended single-sex school were more likely to respond positively to masculine subjects such as math and science, whereas the young girls attending co-ed schools were not (Haag, 3). For many students attending co-ed school the issues of gender concerns are again brought up, this is due to females wanting to remain less dominant then males. By doing this, poor test scores, and failing grades can follow.
According to Richard Dollison from the University of Alabama, before the age of thirteen females and males receive similar test scores in subjects such as math and science. However, after the age of thirteen females have been found to trail dramatically behind males on standardized tests (Dollison, 6). This idea is said to be from the bias in co-ed schools. According to Dollisons study, when females are in a classroom setting teachers pay more attention to male students, rather than females (Dollison, 1998).
This study found that adolescent males tend to be more disruptive in class, causing the teacher to pay much more attention to this disruption. Females on the other hand, are said to be less active in class, waiting to be called on rather than shouting out answers (Dollison, 7). By shouting out answers, males are said to be in constant competition to answer, regardless if the answer is correct or not (Dollison, 7). Author Carol Shakeshaft states that co-ed and public schools cater to the maturation of boys, rather than girls (Dollison, 6). This is stated, even though females do mature in areas of reading before males.
As a result single sex public schooling with increase the broaden horizons of the students that attend. Last point of argument is whether single sex public school districts will increase students socially when dealing with the real world. For some the information already stated may not be enough to convince public school districts to become a single-sex school. However, Heather Blair and Kathy Sanford, both are part of the American Education Research Association, found several studies on single-sex schools in Canada that could sway public school districts towards single-sex education.
The study found that in Canada a policy of AICE is followed. This is a policy for equal opportunities in education, meaning Access, Inclusion, Climate, and Empowerment (Blair & Sanford, 2). Access, meaning that the schools encourage equal opportunity in instruction, especially nontraditional jobs, enabling young people to choose from a range of careers. Inclusion, meaning to look at gender bias in teaching and learning materials both in terms of inclusive language and content. Create, meaning to create an educational atmosphere that is both safe and supports equity dealing with sexual arassment and violence against women. Empowerments, meaning to create a space within school where young women and men can develop a sense of solidarity, and provide an antidote to counter negative messages adolescences receive both within and beyond school (Blair & Sanford, 4). However, these schools were not private academies; each school was in fact a public school, with single-gender programs. The program is for the majority, found in Western Canada, and is offered in both junior high school and middle school (Blair & Sanford, 4).
The research states that adolescence is a crucial time for construction of gender identity and often academic success (Blair & Sanford, 5). This is stating that the first few teenage years are incredibly important in shaping an academic outlook throughout high school. Blair and Sanford also state that the early teenage years are usually the time where students begin to lose confidence in themselves as learners and question personal knowledge and in authority (Blair & Sanford, 6).
In conclusion, major arguments are weather single sex schools district would increase confidence and self esteem, increase academic test scores and grades, and increase students socially. There should be single sex public school districts. One proposal that can be considered for having single sex public school districts is by building confidence for each gender. Rather than simply teaching students a standard curriculum, single-sex schools strive to really get their students to learn and be comfortable in their environment, while at the same time learning about themselves, as well as their peers.
The increase in —-To some, single- sex schools may always represent something that seems to segregate females and males, and to others it may seem like a waste of money. But, these people have not truly looked into the fabulous opportunities that their child could experience, traditions are formed, friends are made, and the education the students will have will truly last a lifetime. Works Cited Blair, H. & Sanford, K. (1999). Single-sex classrooms: A place for transformation of policy and practice. pp. 4-9.
Retrieved on April 14 from Eric/EBSCO. Dollison, R. A. (1998). A comparison of the effect of single sex and coeducational schooling arrangements on the self-esteem and mathematics achievement of adolescent females. pp. 6-9. Retrieved on April 12 from Eric/EBSCO. Haag, P. (2000). K-12 single sex education: What does research say? pp. 2-5. Retrieved on March 23 from Eric/EBSCO. Messinger, J. (2001). Gender and body concerns in adolescent females: Single sex and coeducational environments. pp. 5-9. Retrieved on February 28 from Eric/EBSCO.