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- Author : Lauren M. Bronson, Elementary SchoolTeacher, Hillsborough
- Word count : 573
Single-Gender Education: Does it Work?
There is a long history of single-gender education, in which boys and girls
attend specific classes or schoolas a whole with only members of their same
sex. This separation of genders may be done solely for educational purposes or
in combination with other factors, such as religion.
Although private schools are more commonly associated with single-
gender education, there has been an increase in single-gender offerings in the
public schoolsystem in recent years.
According to the National Association for Single Sex Public Education,
only a dozen or so public schools in the United States had single-gender
classrooms in 2002. A decadelater, more than 500 public schools offered
Despite extensive study, however, there remains much debate over the
perceived pros and cons of single-gender, or single-sex, education. The findings
of a federal review of single-sex versus coeducational schools were not
“There is some supportfor the premise that single-sex schooling can be helpful,
especially for certain outcomes related to academic achievement and more
positive academic aspirations,” the U.S. Department of Education noted in its
2005 report. “Formany outcomes, there is no evidence of either benefit or
Advantages of Single-GenderSchools
Proponents of single-gender education contend that teachers treat boys and
girls differently, which can lead to boys receiving a disproportionate share of
attention in coeducational classrooms.
In reviewing research on single-sex education, the National Education
Association (NEA) noted that, “Girls who learn in all-girl environments are
believed to be more comfortable responding to questions and sharing their
opinions in class and more likely to explore more ‘nontraditional’ subjects such
as math, science, and technology.”
Additionally, studies suggest that boys in single-gender classrooms “are more
successfulin schooland more likely to pursue a wide range of interests and
activities,” according to the NEA.
Among the other potential benefits of single-sex schools typically cited:
Girls are more likely to take risks such as speaking in front of the
Girls may exhibit higher levels of self-confidence and self-esteem
Boys tend to be less competitive and more cooperative and
Boys feel less pressure as they mature and develop physically
Arguments against single-gender education often revolve around factors
such as stereotyping and diversity. The American Council for CoEducational
Schooling (ACCES) contends single-sex schooling is harmful, in part, because
Promotes gender stereotyping
Doesn’t prepare students for work or family life
Makes exclusion acceptable
Doesn’t value diversity
A September 2011 article in the journal Science contends “there is
evidence that sex segregation increases gender stereotyping and legitimizes
The article’s authors, who are founders of ACCES, argue that “sex-
segregated education … is deeply misguided, and often justified by weak,
cherry-picked, or misconstrued scientific claims rather than by valid scientific
Proponents of coed schools also contend that socialization is a major
aspectof schooling and is a missed opportunity for single-gender schools.
An Individual Choice
Even proponents of single-gender education, such as the National
Association for Single Sex Public Education, note that simply separating boys
and girls doesn’tguarantee academic achievement.
There are multiple pros and cons to consider and, as noted, extensive research
and numerous studies have not silenced the debate about single-gender
education. “Additional research on the effectiveness of single-gender
classrooms is necessary,” the NEA noted in its review.
Ultimately, parents must still make the decision based on what’s best for
their child’s particular learning style and needs.
There is a long history of single-gender education whose purposes are
education or other factors, such as religion. Singer-sex education has increased
in the public schoolsystem in recent years. There are many different opinions
about pros and cons of single-gender education.
Advantage of this system is to help girls be more comfortable when
answering and sharing opinion in class and explore more ‘nontraditional’
subjects such as math, science. Besides, single-sex education assist boys are
more successfulin school.
There are many disadvantages of single-gender education system. The
most important thing is not to prepare students for work or family life.
Moreover, it increases gender categorization.
There are many arguments for pros and cons of single-sex education.
Finally, parents have to choosea suitable and good education system for their
- Single-sex / single-gender : Đơn giới
- Combination : kết hợp
- Dozen : một tá
- Debate : cuộc tranh luận
- Versus : so với
- Premise : tiền đề
- Disproportionate : không cân xứng
- Stereotyping : Rập khuôn
- Segregation : sự phân biệt chủng tộc
- Legitimize : Làm thành chính thống
- Institutional : Thể chế
- Proponents : Những người ủng hộ