Do Single-Sex Classrooms Cause Students to Learn Better?
In a typical classroom, we visualize boys and girls learning together. They get equal attention from the teacher and their questions are answered. In some classrooms, the boys may outnumber the girls and in some, it may be vice-versa. But the education remains the same. Now, many institutions across the world are looking at providing effective and quality education via single-sex (gender) classrooms. This means the segregation of boys and girls. History shows that initially, this was being practiced for centuries. While boys were given education, girls stayed at home to help with the household chores. Institutions and educationists are now using the same idea that is single-sex classes to address the needs of the students. It covers the widening education gap between boys and girls. Moreover, the girls are given equal opportunities like boys to pursue further and higher education, and whatever career they want. Experts have also highlighted that the needs of boys and girls are different and so are their strengths and weaknesses. For example, boys have higher physical activity level and stamina compared to girls; and girls are more expressive and verbal than boys.
Many experts have voiced their support and concerns for single-sex classes. Some are of the opinion that it will leave adverse effects on both the sexes and negative impact on their overall development. There's no doubt that girls and boys have different needs, skill-levels and interests. Research has failed to comment on their grasping and learning power. Instead, this has been categorized as an individualized or personalized thing. Not all boys are good at sport or have the same physical strength. And not all girls are able to express themselves freely or good at taking down notes. It differs from individual to individual or person to person. And there's no research to support the assumed theory that single-sex education has more achievements than coeducation. There's no unique improvement in the general academic achievement. Girls and boys can learn a lot from each other but single-sex classes has no scope for that. Some experts have expressed concern that single-sex classes give rise to gender discrimination, prejudice and stereotyping. Eventually, this leaves a negative effect on the society.
In single-sex classes, there is no space for gender discrimination. Boys will not be regarded as superior or dominant over girls. This helps in community building and strengthening of genders. On the positive side, single-sex classes builds and boosts confidence and participation. Teachers will be able to develop and improve the teaching techniques. They can apply various strategies to reach out to the girls and boys. In single-sex classes students will be more engaged in their work. There will be few or no distractions. Plus, the students will be vocal among their lot. They will be able to defend their opinions and views without feeling intimidated by the opposite sex. Experts agree that single-sex classes help build leadership qualities in the students. Girls and boys are able to take control of their peers in drama, sports, plays, and debates etc. In a learning environment, there is a need to interact with the opposite sex. It creates awareness and makes learning fun and interesting. They need to interact and feel comfortable. Experts have pointed out that in some girls and boys of single-sex classes may feel awkward or uncomfortable interacting with the opposite sex. This has an impact on their self-esteem and social life. In coeducation, there's nothing as such. Girls and boys learn and study together. They get the same attention from their teachers, the same amount of assignments and homework.
Education for All
Education brings about a better lifestyle and opportunities. Learning is regarded as the same. Boys and girls are seen equally. Coeducation highlights equality. It highlights the skills and intellect of both the sexes irrespective of gender. Coeducation gives a realistic environment. Girls and boys both get to achieve. They get to compete against each other in a holistic environment. They learn and exchange ideas. Apart from this, girls and boys learn to respect each other. They work in a team and both of them can excel. There's no stopping. Regardless of the personalities, that girls are sensitive and boys are tough, they need to learn together. By differentiating between the two, there is no proper research to prove the fact that they learn better separately. This only creates gender differences and societal issues. Education is for all and its better for boys and girls to learn together.