Girls DO work better when taught separately in single-sex schools

While single-sex education is not exactly a new idea, current opinion would indicate girls do work better when taught separately from boys. A recent study suggests girls tend to prefer a more cooperative, discussion-based learning process. Boys on the other hand are often more competitive and tend to dominate mixed classes resulting in girls taking more of a back seat in group activities.

Other reasons given by those favouring single sex schools, particularly during teenage years, are the distractions caused when young adult’s hormones begin to kick in making concentration and the ability to remain focussed on learning that much more difficult.

Reeson Education are quoted as saying…’Schools have a responsibility to prepare their students for adult life to the best of their ability and therefore school life should mirror society. The reasons underpinning better academic performance in single sex schools for both female and male students need to be fully understood so that appropriate measures can be taken to address the disparity whilst the social advantages of a co-educational learning environment continue to be realised.‘

Critics of single sex education claim these schools are creating an artificial environment that actually impedes a student’s development of social skills. Teenage years especially are an important period of development and believe that segregated education makes it more difficult for students to naturally relate to members of the opposite sex.

In the real world of adulthood the two genders must co-exist and during these early years of mixed schooling it is where the foundations of this co-existence are formed and given structure.

Those who support single sex schooling also have valid reasons for preferring to keep the sexes separated, claiming:

  • A boy free learning environment releases girls from the naturally dominating influences of the opposite sex and allows them greater freedom of expression.
  • When teenage hormones are on the rampage many girls today worry more about pleasing the boys than academic achievement. Female students in single sex education tend to be more focussed and driven.
  • Boys too benefit from single sex education. Clever, focussed girls in the classroom are seen as threatening by some young male students and can actually stifle their will to learn.

Grouping pupils according to age or ability is not something new in our schools; the system has worked well for many years, and is seen as the best way to meet individual learning needs. However, if this is the case then surely it makes sense to educate along gender lines as well?

REESON Education is London's premier recruitment agency. Established in 2006 by experienced teachers, education professionals and recruitment specialists we have built our business and reputation on our core values of honesty, integrity and excellence. 

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