Learning Differences by Gender
To understand the potential benefits of an all-female education, we must begin with an overview of the learning differences between genders. According to Scholastic, girls and boys enter school using parts of their brains quite differently. In early grades, girls use their left-hemispheres to excel in writing, reading and speaking. Right-hemisphere development helps girls tune in to the feelings of teachers and other students.
- All-girls schools often provide more positive female role models.
- Learning takes center stage, without social distractions.
- Girls are encouraged to excel in "male" subjects like math and science.
- Girls are more likely to take on a leadership role in athletics.
- The learning environment is tailored to the unique learning styles of females.
- All-girl schools play a role in countering current culture, allowing girls to determine who they are without outside influences.
- A 20-year study conducted by Dr. Ken Rowe in Australia showed that boys and girls attending single-sex schools scored between 15 and 22 percentile points higher on standardized tests.
- In 1995, 100 eighth-grade students in Virginia were separated for math and science classes. The study found that girls immediately began to achieve better when placed in the single-sex environment.
- A 2001 study in Britain looking at 2954 high schools and 979 primary schools found that all girls improved their academic performance in a single-sex classroom, regardless of their ability or socio-economic status.
- Recent studies of the brain using magnetic resonance imaging showed physical differences between male and female brains as they function, indicating boys and girls may require different teaching methods.