Are male andfemale students distracted by the opposite sex disturbing their overall learningin classroom settings? Research indicates in single-sex classrooms; fewerdistractions allow students a greater focus on their studies increasing theoverall success of the students. The U.S Department of Education definessingle-sex education as “education at the elementary, secondary, orpostsecondary level in which males and females attend exclusively with membersof their own sex” (“Executive Summary”).
Single-sex schools became popular inthe late 1990’s when the United States Supreme Court established in UnitedStates vs. Virginia that “Single-sex classrooms were only constitutional ifcomparable resources were available to both genders” (“Pros and Cons ofSingle-Sex Education”). High schools should be separated by gender due to the developmental,behavioral and performance benefits that expand educational opportunities. To begin,research indicates females and males develop at different rates in their livesaffecting their cognitive mental abilities. Martha Denckla, neuroscientists ofKennedy Krieger Institute and the John Hopkins University of Medicine, conductedexperiments regarding female and male gender development. Dr. Denckla found”the female brain develops faster from twenty weeks of pregnancy throughpuberty” (Shulzke). For example, South Carolina Department of Education workerDavid Chadwell experimented distinguishing the best learning styles for eachgender.
Chadwell’s results indicated “boys prefer structure and females preferopportunities to make connections between themselves and the content” (Chadwell).Consequently, teachers in single sex-schools teach their students based on theirstudent’s gender maturity increasing the overall learning content. Single-sexschools allow teachers to modify their teaching styles and lessons to fit thegender best enrolled at the school. In addition, Virginia Bonomo, author of thebook Gender Matters in ElementaryEducation claims “the left side of the brain used in verbal and writtenassociations develops sooner in females than males allowing females to performbetter in those areas” (“Boys’ and Girls’ Brains”). Therefore, teachers insingle-sex schools tailor the learning environment to provide more significantcomprehension amongst students. Single-sex schools benefit males and femalesdue to their brains progressing at different rates increasing their overall education. In addition to tailoring education due tothe different stages of brain development, men and women in single-gendereducation develop strong character and esteem traits due to the strong unityamongst the schools.
As an example, Chicago’s all-male African-American highschool, Ron Brown Prep, stresses the school motto “young men to becompassionate, honest, and disciplined, respectful, and courageous men” (Hozien).All of the senior students at Ron Brown Prep graduated in the year 2016creating history amongst the crime-stricken Chicago area becoming the onlyschool with a one hundred percent graduation rate (Hozien). A student at RonBrown Prep stated that “If things are going bad at home when I get here,they help me, they mentor me, they give me a solution to my problems,” hesaid. “And I put that solution to the test, and 100 percent of the time itworks out for my good. It’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed here for four years”(Levy). Given these points, single-sex schools promote a system of unityallowing students to think and grow in similar ways. With the removal ofopposite sexes, students are free to express themselves openly and increase inself-esteem. Likewise, a female student attending an all-girls boarding schoolstated: “I could wake up five minutes before class, pull on clothes, and feeljust as beautiful as I would have with full hair and makeup” (Gross-Loh).
Thecommunity aspect of single-sex schools promotes character growth amongst thestudents.Along with behavioralbenefits, separating male and female students results in higher graduationrates and tests scores. For instance, Booker T. Washington High School locatedin Memphis, Tennessee switched to same-sex classes.
The principal, AlishiaKiner, found the “graduation rate increased from 53% to 90% in 2017” (Washington).Teachers at Booker T. Washington found single-sex classes allow the students tobecome academically competitive by challenging the opposite genders (Washington).One teacher stated, “I have an all-boys class and an all-girls class. My boysare extremely competitive and want to score better than the girls” (Washington).Likewise, a public high school in Florida separated students into single-sex orco-ed classes with the same overall class size and curriculum. The single-sexstudents performed dramatically better on the standardized tests.
Theexperiment found “37% of the boys in the co-ed classes scored proficient on thestate test, compared to the 86% of the boys in the same single-sex classrooms”(“Single-Sex vs. Coed”). Generally speaking, single-gender education leads toan increase in overall student achievement. Statistics indicate due tosingle-sex schools, the total education performance of males and females surges.On the otherhand, opponents of single-sex schools argue that separating females and malesinterferes with the “real” world (Anderson). Coed advocates believe studentsneed to learn with the opposite sex to develop communication skills necessaryfor future jobs. In support of that, sports, activities, and clubs insingle-sex schools often involve the opposite gender allowing the students tobuild relationships and interact. Another argument supporting coed learningincludes the fact that single-sex education creates gender stereotypes thataffect the behavior and the attitude of students (Anderson).
For example, teachers at single-sex schools may reinforce gender stereotypes bysteering females away from math, science, and technology while boy studentsfocus less on the arts. While this may be true in some cases, most single-sexeducation centers allow students to choose classes based on their interesttowards the subject. In most single-sex schools a plethora of courses isavailable allowing students the opportunity to learn a variety of material. Insummation, single-sex education equips students with behavior, developmental,and performance benefits that optimize learning.
Teachers in single-sexclassrooms modify lessons based on gender maturity enhancing the learningquality. Due to the unity in single-sex schools, students develop into peopleof high character. Research shows separating female and male students increasestest scores and overall classroom attendance.
Separating students by genderprovides an educational atmosphere that equips students with more advantagesthan coed learning. Single-sex schools allow students to progress at timelymanners, grow into a person of high character, and score well on educationaltests.