Single Sex Classrooms vs. Co-ed Class Rooms




Since the year 2000, single-sex education has been constantly increasing in its popularity. However, there is no exact answer whether it is better or worse for children to study in groups of one sex. Today, it is still a rather hot button issue. In fact, there are both advantages and disadvantages of one sex education. Therefore, it is of vital importance to review them.


Thesis: should children attend single-sex classrooms or co-ed classrooms?

The Single-Sex Format

According to NASSPE (National Association for Single-Sex Public Education), today, there are 95 single-sex public schools in the United States. A. Novotney (58) asserts that there are about 445 public co-ed schools, which now feature single-sex classrooms. Meanwhile, separating boys and girls, as a matter of fact, is not enough to achieve success. Therefore, as Leonard Sax, the Executive Director of NASSPE, asserts, “Schools, which tend to provide the best novelties for gender-specific teaching, are likely to achieve more success at teaching to strengths of boys and girls” (Novotney 58).

Advantages of the Single-Sex Format Education

When it comes to one sex education, it is evident that there are several opportunities, which do not exist in co-ed education. To begin with, teachers can use those strategies, which have succeeded in the only-girls classroom or only-boys classes but do not work in the co-ed classrooms. Needless to note that the pluses for women, in fact, outweigh the pluses for men within one sex classroom. According to the researches of C. Riordan, girls, who attended one-sex classrooms, normally outperformed girls, who were in co-ed classrooms. However, he cannot say the same about boys of single-sex schooling. Moreover, he also asserts that the beneficial effects of one-sex class format are greater for underprivileged- background- children (Riordan).

Additionally, students are more focused on education, and they do not pay so much attention to various youth sex issues, and they do not worry so much about how they look or what they are wearing (Novotney 58). The other important benefit of single-sex classrooms is that it broadens students' horizons, thus, helping them feel free to better explore their own strengths, weaknesses, and interests, not forced by stereotypes of gender (NASSPE).

Needless to mention that, according to NASSPE, 37 percent of boys in co-ed schools and 86 percent of boys in one sex classes were proficient in the skills, needed to achieve success at their grade level. Meanwhile, as to the girls, 75 percent in one sex classes compared to 59 percent of girls in co-ed classrooms were correctly accomplished for their grade level. These results showed that single schooling is more effective in teaching students of skills, which are needed to succeed in testing (NASSPE).

Advantages of the Traditional Co-Ed Classroom

There are some pluses of traditional co-ed schooling. First of all, it is the normal socialization between boys and girls. All of them will surely have to work together in the "real" world one day, and they have to be capable to easily communicate with each other and understand the differences and special features of such type of cooperation. Additionally, a typical setting helps students discover different learning styles from other children, thus, expanding their options while they grow, become more mature, and find out new things. It is important that co-ed classrooms also tend to encourage competition among peers. It is a well-known fact that success is the desired achievement; hence, competition is one of the major concerns in any community (NASSPE).

In addition, to these mentioned, co-ed education is more exciting for students, and they have the possibility to grow together, thus, to understand each other better.  If we ask students what they prefer, the answer is obvious – typical co-ed sex education.

What Is Better?

As statics shows, single-class education is more effective, and students are more focused on the educational process. On the other hand, such children may prove not to be ready to enter the real “grownup” world and face a lot of problems in communicating with the opposite gender in their further activity. The other important fact is that students prefer studying together, and they are more excited about attending coed schools.

Meanwhile, since effective teaching, first of all, depends on keeping students engaged and excited about the learning material, it is not correct to claim that single or co-ed gender education is better or worse. As a matter of fact, students may achieve success in both one-sex classes and co-ed sex format schooling. More depends on the proficiency of teachers and the whole teaching process. Moreover, we should not forget that all people are different, and for some students, it may be better to attend one sex class while for others, coed education is more appropriate. Therefore, the choice of education should also depend on the “child’s individual needs and talents” (Novotney 58).

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It should be concluded that nowadays, there is no concrete answer regarding the issue of what is better: one sex class education or coed class format. Both of them have pluses and minuses.  Lots of people prefer typical education, involving both boys and girls. The main advantage of this type of education is the ability for two genders to cooperate normally and to be able to enter the real world, where men and women have to face each other every day and must know how to communicate with each other.

On the other hand, according to statistics, students, which attend single-sex classes, are more skillful and are more ready for testing, they show greater schooling results because they are more focused on education and pay less attention to their appearance and wearing. Therefore, it is not correct to say which school is better because much depends on the children, their needs and abilities.

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