Difference Between Single-Gender and Co-ed School

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Most parents and teenagers are inclined to love mixed school more than a single gender school with the opinion that the students in the co-ed institution will learn to create relationships with the opposite sex. However, schools are supposed to be a place where these kids are introduced to the basics of life and inculcated with various skills and proficiencies to help them survive in the competitive world. They are supposed to be guided to reach their full potential without affecting their modesty. Despite a co-ed institution being the better choice for most, single-sex schools are better as the students do not have to concentrate on social issues such as sexual attraction with the opposite sex and thus focus more on their education.

In a single-gender school, there are reduced distractions (Kozma) and the students will have more time to study. These include exclusion with the many dramas found in a co-ed institution. Some boys in these schools may behave aggressively in order to impress a certain girl. There are also instances of more than one girl fighting for the same boy, these wars may extend to the friends of the two girls resulting in a large-scale drama, additionally, and boys have a habit of showing off when a girl they like is around. These instances lead an unsuitable learning environment including bullying of some students resulting in their reduced performance and the overall reduction in performance of a school. A research was carried out to investigate the difference in performance between these two schools. The investigators gave a similar test paper to both institutions. The average performance of the single-gender school was 75 while that of their counterparts was 37 (Ogden). This proved the academic prowess of the former.

Girls and boys also have different subject preferences when it comes to their education. For instance, most girls are more interested in arts and languages while most boys love science music, technology and math (Colley and Comber). When placed in a single gender school, they will concentrate on these subjects. However, in a co-ed school, the boys are more interested in impressing the girls, hence will concentrate more on athletics and sports, which the girls like. Additionally, girl students prefer to study in a warm and well-lit room. Girls also learn faster than boys and as such, need to slow down to accommodate their counterparts. The change in preferences and liking of subjects by the various genders is not in born but rather starts to deviate with age. At the elementary level, both boys and girls perform similarly in the different subject, however as they grow and join junior high and high school and girls starts to become conscious of their social status, math and science start to seem difficult to them. These differences, among others, prove that bridging the gap of disparity and creating an equilibrium place where both genders can perform at their optimum level is quite hard.

A single sex school also gives a boy or a girl the chance to engage in class constructively without the fear of reaction of the other sex. Hence able to identify fellow students with similar interests and develop relationships (Grossberg).These interests include love for music and arts. Most of those who join single-gender schools do so for they feel they will not be bullied and will escape the many dramas that are present in a co-ed school. In a single-gender school, a student does not live near their crush and as such eliminate all the love triangle dramas associated with it. For example, the girls will not have the need to fight irrelevant wars to make their competition feel weird. These outcomes really influence the performance of the other student in the class. Without these dramas, the various girl groups such as the jocks and cheerleaders will not exist making the school environment conducive to everyone. Boys, on the other hand, will not be aggressive, as they have no girls to show off to, this means that will have no reason to bully their fellow students or engage in stupid endeavors that are both risky and time wasting. The student will be engaged in doing their coursework and their only point of attraction will be a shared academic or socially proactive activities.

 Elimination of the distraction means that the students in single-gender schools have more time at their disposal. The time can be used to do the homework and as a result, no work will be brought home. The student will have time to do physical practice and grow into better athletes. A good example is the St. Catherine school, a private all boys school. Every day after the classes, the school program has a time for games (Joe). However, this does not mean the student from the co-ed schools will not become good athletes. They can also become good athletes at the expense of their academic grades. While being an athlete is important, getting good grades is an important goal in today’s world. Most employers will have an employee who has good academic grades to those who failed. Single-gender schools provide good opportunity for the learners to develop both physically and mentally by ensuring that they have enough time to do their assignments and develop physically. Learners will pass their exam and join the colleges of their choice. Additionally, since they do not have to carry their assignments home, they can go out to meet new people and try new things after school.

Being in a single-sex classroom can also increase a learner’s confidence and self-esteem (Ransome). Some students are not only distracted but also intimidated by the presence of the opposite sex. This can result in less participation in class activities such as discussions. A student can also feel inadequate in presence of his inadequate in presence of his or her peers and live in constant fear of embarrassment. This can result in the particular student losing interest in the class and as a result becoming a candidate for social problems such as drug abuse and crime. Such students can thrive well in a single gender school setting where they interact with their gender, most of whom are their age mates with similar interests. Hence, these youth can learn and develop into responsible and productive citizens.

Unlike in a co-ed school, a single gender school can develop a more tailored curriculum for boys or for girls. Growing evidence show that brain development, physical activity and verbal skills develop at different rates between the two genders, (Chadwell). This ensures the teachers can really reach his or her learners and drive a point home. For example, a literature teacher in a boys-only school can teach them books that are concerned with boy’s maturity and their relationships with their parents and women. A book such as Hamlet, which talks about a boy coming of age and his interaction with his father, can be a good candidate. On the other hand, the same teacher can teach his or her female students on the various issues facing women and the various gains they have made over the century. A book such as House of Mirth, which talks about how women’s lives are affected by the existing conditions, can be a good book. While the same issues can be discussed in a co-ed school, the curriculum needs to divide the available time between the issues and strike a balance so as to accommodate both genders.

Research carried out in England has proven that girls from single-gender schools excel more than their counterparts from mixed gender institutions (Coughlan). The investigations also showed that these females were more likely to take physical science courses in college. This is due to the absence of the gender stereotypes found in co-ed schools. In these institutions, the girls are also offered a unique opportunity of being in every leadership role. This includes the bandleader, the basketball captain, club leaders among others. This is unlike in the co-ed schools where only a few of the leadership positions are reserved for girls. If not reserved, the girls have to struggle really hard to attain these positions from the boys. Therefore, single-gender schools ensure wholesome development both academically and in leadership.

The debate on co-ed and single gender schooling has been running for generations. Various proponents and opponents have different reasons why they support each side of the discussion. However, I feel single-gender institutions are better compared to co-ed schools. This is because there are fewer distractions, different genders have different preferences and thus hard to sustain both, it offers a chance for the student to create a friendship based on constructive common interests. Additionally, increases comfort for some student, the teachers can develop a gender-tailored teaching program enhancing understanding, and research has shown that single-gender schools perform better than mixed gender schools. Despite the research, the decision on where to get an education is an important issue in a learner’s life as it may influence their future life, thus the decision on the best school lies in the hands of the student and their parents.

Works Cited

Chadwell, David. "Single-Gender Classes Can Respond to the Needs Of Boys and Girls - ASCD Express 5.12." Ascd.org. N.p., 2018. Web. 4 Mar. 2018.

Colley, Ann, and Chris Comber. "School Subject Preferences: Age and Gender Differences Revisited." Educational Studies 29.1 (2003): 59-67. Web. 4 Mar. 2018.

Coughlan, Sean. "Girls 'Better Gcses in All-Girl Schools'." BBC News. N.p., 2018. Web. 4 Mar. 2018.

Grossberg, Blythe. "4 Reasons Why Single-Sex Schools May Be Right For You." ThoughtCo. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 Mar. 2018.

Joe, Shelby. "St. Catherine’S Montessori." Thesismag.com. N.p., 2013. Web. 4 Mar. 2018.

Kozma, Carol. "Gender Distraction: All-Boy, All-Girl Schools Let Students Focus, Advocates Say." southcoasttoday.com. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2018.

Ogden, Craig Erico. "A Comparison of Student Performance in Single-sex Education and Coeducational Setings in Urban Middle Schools." Ph. D. Georgia Southern University, 2011. Web.

Ransome, Whitney. "Single-Sex Schooling Cultivates Confidence in Girls

        [Commentary]." baltimoresun.com. N.p., 2014. Web. 4 Mar. 2018.

August 21, 2023

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