Some private schools have had single sex classrooms for generations, while public schools are just starting to approach the idea. Keeping both genders together in a learning environment has been seen as a way to promote equality, but what if true educational equality could be better achieved by keeping the genders separated? Here are some of the pros and cons to consider as schools look at implementing single sex classrooms.
What Are the Pros of Single Sex Classrooms?
1. They allow students to pursue what they are passionate about.
Men tend to focus on more creative things in the single sex classroom, such as poetry and music, when compared to the gender integrated classrooms. Women tend to focus less on being competitive with the opposite gender and focus on the tasks that are at hand. In both instances, more educational value can be achieved.
2. They provide less of a distracting environment.
When men and women are put together in a classroom, there is bound to be some drama included. Relationships, both good and bad, tend to be the focus of the student body rather than the subject materials that are being taught. With single sex classrooms, there is less of a focus on popularity and more of a separation based on common interests.
3. They lessen the wealth gap that is being seen in education.
Single sex classrooms usually have students in uniform, which means that the wealth gap is effectively closed. Everyone looks the same and follows the same rules, so flaunting wealth with designed fashions and accessories becomes a thing of the past.
What Are the Cons of Single Sex Classrooms?
1. They may not prepare people for their vocational future.
There aren’t many jobs today that feature just one gender working within them. Even professional football players, all male in the US, have women as assistants and equipment managers. By removing gender integration, students may be less prepared for the environments of the modern workplace.
2. They don’t eliminate the system of cliques.
Although wealth gaps are reduced, the typical student cliques still form and each has a certain attitude of superiority to it. Each clique may be treated more equally on average, but they still exist and can be problematic for students who are sensitive to that type of environment.
3. They could create teaching difficulties.
Teachers are typically taught to engage an integrated environment, not a same sex environment. This means that many may struggle to adapt to the different atmosphere within their classroom and this could stagnate learning opportunities even though the student body is in a better position to learn.
Single sex classrooms have been shown to be effective when they can be correctly implemented. Can your local school district take on this challenge? By weighing the pros and cons of going to a single gender, each community can see if they have the tools available to make it a successful experience.