Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Single Gender Education

My daughter, Abby, attends a public school. However, I must say, I do not think she could get any better an education at a private school. Abby's school is very proactive and in the past few years has started offering single gender education. One class per grade level for boys and one for girls. After attending an informational meeting and conducting my own research I decided this would be an excellent option. She has been in a single gender class all year, her first grade year.

I am thrilled beyond belief. These teachers took special classes to learn how to cater their lessons specifically to each gender. They learned at what specific temperature boys and girls learn best, what colors the classroom should be and how they best learn. They know that boys need to move, need to be able to have "tap time" where they tap their pencils on their desks and  that you must explain a task to boys BEFORE you pass out the papers, whereas girls will await instructions even if the paper is placed in front of them.

They have "social time" where they discuss current events. The older boys actually have a male teacher and part of the time they even discuss girls and the proper way to treat and respect them. I think this is wonderful, especially in homes that are female centric. This way these young men get a positive male role model that is very influential in their lives. 

In Abby's class her teacher has done an amazing job fostering "sisterhood" and how to get along with other little girls. As my fellow girls know, this can be quite difficult, at times!  Girls can be brutal, backstabbing and just plain hard to get along with quite often.  Abby's teacher is so well suited to teach an all girl class. She is kind, open-minded, observant, intuitive and really takes pride in a job well done.

It is phenomenal the differences in the standardized test scores of single gender verse co-ed taught classes, it is practically off the charts. The single gender educated students really fare so much better. I think it boils down to insecurities in a lot of ways. The girls are not afraid of showing their knowledge or their lack of knowledge because there are no boys around to
"embarrass" themselves in front of and vice versa.

The school allows plenty of time for intermingling. They have recess together and some of their fine arts classes are even joined. They also plan special events just for the single gender classes, special luncheons, etc.  The kids really do get the best of both worlds.

The school district Abby is enrolled in anticipates offering single gender in every grade level through 12th. I fully intent to keep Abby in these classes as long as I can. I am amazed at all she has learned this year.  I think it is an excellent way to teach our kids, it is a way to foster the differences in gender while encouraging a passion for learning. I feel very fortunate that Abby is able to participate in this type of education.


Darkwulfe said...

This sounds like a GREAT system! It would be nice to see this as a more widespread practice.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

That's really cool. I know they were doing that at a high school around here...not sure if they still offer it.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a great idea. It would really help stamp out the "mean girl" attitude that many girls end up with (or are victimized with). B/C that all stems from jealousy and competition.

Sherry at EX Marks the Spot said...

That's very interesting. When my children were young - which was a long time ago - their school implemented a program designed to accommodate varying learning styles and learning differences. It wasn't single gender but it was a big step back then.

Come on over to Thirk Thursday if you get a chance.