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Single-Sex Schools Fail to Improve Learning Essay

In 2002, only about a dozen schools were separating the sexes, according to the National Association for Single Sex Public Education, an advocacy group. Now, an estimated 500 public schools across the country offer some all-boy and all-girl classrooms. 2Proponents argue the separation allows for a tailored instruction and cuts down on gender-driven distractions among boys and girls, such as flirting. But critics decry the movement as promoting harmful gender stereotypes and depriving kids of equal educational opportunities.

The ACLU claims many schools offer the classes in a way that conflicts with the U. S. Constitution and Title IX, a federal law banning sex discrimination in education. Researchers also have weighed in. 3For many parents, the rationale for placing their child in a single-sex school is the belief that academic performance will be improved. New research finds an absence of evidence to support this assumption. Moreover, evidence does exist that sex segregation increases gender stereotyping among children and teachers and legitimizes institutional sexism.

4The findings are the crux of a new article in the journal Science that examines single-sex schooling. “Though public sentiment may have strengthened in support of such settings for improving the learning environment and outcomes for both boys and girls, the science is just not there to support this,” said Richard Fabes, Ph. D. , one of the authors of the Science article. 5The Study authors cite evidence that single-sex and coeducational outcomes are equal.

Similar large-scale reviews in Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand found little overall difference between single-sex and mixed-sex academic outcomes. Talk to our students and our graduates and they’ll tell you about the value of learning in an environment where competitive and collaborative spirits are unleashed in the absence of gender-based expectations. 6Another misconception rebutted in the article is the claim that boys and girls learn differently.

Study authors said that this premise is not supported by research as neuroscientists have found few differences in children’s brains beyond the larger volume of boys’ brains and the earlier completion of girls’ brain growth — neither of which is known to relate to learning. 7Critics of single-sex education argue that socializing, especially between genders, should be an integral part of education. “Positive and cooperative interaction with members of other sex is an effective method for improving intergroup relationships,” according to the authors.

8On the other hand, an influential conservative political movement, represented by the presidency of Ronald Reagan; public concerns about sexual freedom; a rise in unmarried–particularly teenage– pregnancy; and the growth of sexually transmitted diseases led to a reexamination of coeducational policies. There is evidence, however, that sex segregation increases gender divisions among children. “Separating boys and girls in public school classrooms makes gender very salient, and this salience reinforces stereotypes and sexism,” Fabes said.

9Moreover, for both girls and boys co-education provides a more realistic way of training young people to take their places naturally in the wider community of men and women. It helps to break down the misconceptions of each sex about the other and provides an excellent foundation for the development of realistic, meaningful and lasting relationships in later life. 10The authors note that research has shown that labeling and segregation of any form – be it, gender, eye color, or randomly assigned T-shirt groups – is detrimental as this implies that the groups differ in important ways which may lead to the development of bias.

“Is it ever good to segregate on the basis of race, income or age? I think the answer is no,” Fabes said. “There is no good evidence that it is ever a good time to separate and segregate. Any form of segregation undermines rather than promotes equality. ” Source: Arizona State University http://psychcentral. com/news/2011/09/23/single-sex-schools-fail-to-improve-learning/29723. html Writer’s Arguments Counterarguments Writer’s Refutation

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