Is It True That Students Learn Better In a Same-Sex School?
Same-sex schools come with many benefits that make learning better. The major advantage is the reduction of distractions. Students in same-sex schools enjoy a favorable learning environment. Also, single-sex schools cater to gender needs enabling students to learn better. In this article, we discuss the reasons why students learn better in same-sex schools.
The same-sex school caters to gender needs
Boys and girls learn in different ways. What might be effective for girls may not be effective for boys. This means that if boys and girls are taught in the same school, some will miss out. Brain imaging show biological differences between boys and girls which may affect learning. For example, brain imaging shows that;
The area connecting brain hemispheres is larger in girls than boys. This allows girls to learn better especially in language acquisition. What effect would this have on boys in the same class? If boys compete in language acquisition in the same class, they will get frustrated. The frustration can lead to behavioral problems and poor performance.
How about girls?
Girls have more connectors than boys between the brain hemispheres. This makes it easier for girls to balance their academic abilities.
Girls use brain cortical areas for emotive and verbal functioning. Boys use them for mechanical and spatial functioning. This does not mean that girls are poor in spatial-mechanical skills. Boys are also not poor in emotive-verbal skills. Only that learning these skills for both genders is different. For example, boys will have an easier time learning spatial-mechanical skills. Girls will need better strategies to encourage them to learn these skills.
Brain recharging and renewal is different in both genders. In girls, the brain will recharge and renew without going into rest states. This means that girls can be bored in class but still perform well. In boys, the brain goes into a rest state to recharge and renew. This means that if a boy is bored, he is more likely to sleep. If he doesn’t sleep, then he will be struggling to stay awake. This can get worse if a teacher uses more words. Being spatial, using diagrams, and objects can help keep boys awake. But this can have a negative effect on girls.
Some learning styles are more effective for boys than girls and vice versa. For example, a collaborative learning style is more effective for girls. This is why girls tend to be good at cooperative math activities. Girls use more words during the learning process which makes it easy to collaborate. Boys tend to be more restless. Movement is an effective instructional strategy. But this can be a distraction for girls.
These differences suggest that girls and boys have different learning needs. Learning methods that will improve performance in girls, may be ineffective for boys. With same-sex schools, these gender needs are taken care of. Teachers use gender-specific teaching strategies enabling the gender to realize the full potential.
Let us look at another example. After reading Hamlet, what will a teacher focus on in a mixed class? The teacher will focus on male and female experiences in general. In a single-sex school, the teacher will focus more on specific gender experience. For example, a discussion of Hamlet will focus on the formation of a boy’s identity in a boys’ school. In a girls’ school, the focus can be on the attitude of women toward sexuality. This can make learning more meaningful.
A more favorable learning environment
Students in single-sex schools perform better than in co-ed. This is because there is less pressure in single-sex schools. This creates a more favorable learning environment for each gender. For example, girls do not have to struggle to impress boys. Also, boys don’t have to impress girls. Students can be themselves without worrying about the opposite gender. Students will be comfortable speaking out honestly and openly. They will be willing to take any risk without fear of opposite gender reactions.
In co-educational schools, there is a lot of pressure. For example, if a girl chooses a ‘boys instrumental instrument’ they are more likely to be harassed. Co-ed schools are known for aggression, harassment, and bullying. Girls tend to perform poorly in such an environment. Girls also feel unsafe in such an environment. This means that they cannot perform well.
In single-sex schools, there are fewer gender stereotypes. Students don’t have to worry about being feminine or masculine. Also, they don’t have to worry about their behaviors.
In short, in single-sex schools, there is less pressure to behave ‘correctly’. It creates a more favorable learning environment for each gender. This allows students to focus on their studies. This is something that co-ed schools may not enjoy. Girls have pressure to impress boys. Boys have pressure to appear cool. This pressure distracts focus on studies. This explains why single-sex schools may perform better than co-ed schools.
Studies show that same-sex schools enjoy the benefit of improved behavior. In a single-sex school, students focus on their studies. In co-ed schools, more focus is on socialization. Studies may not be given priority. This makes learning better in single-sex schools. Studies also show that students in same-sex schools, students are more well behaved. This is not to say that students in co-ed schools behave badly. Only that single-sex schools tend to be more well behaved. For example, in single-sex schools, there is an increase in school attendance. There is also an improved attitude and fewer disciplinary problems. Student participation is also high in same-sex schools.