The History of Single-Sex Education
The first schools in America were started by the Puritan settlers and were modeled after the schools in England that were familiar to this population. According to the website for the American Council for CoEducational Schooling, those early schools were primarily designed for the education of the white, Christian male. School was held for nine months, and then boys were given summers off to help their families with farming responsibilities. During the summer months, girls were sometimes able to attend school, with classes taught by a female teacher.
- Nationwide Studies – Conducted in countries like Australia and the U.K., where single-sex education is widely accessible, these studies could involve as many as hundreds of thousands of students overall.
- “Before and After” Studies – This research looks at the performance of specific schools both before single-sex education was introduced and after it was used for a period of time. Studies allow schools to serve as their own control, since student ratios, instructors and curriculum often remain the same throughout the study.
- Academic Studies – These studies involve academics or researchers analyzing both coeducation and single-sex schools to determine similarities and differences between the two.
- Boys in coed classes scored 37% proficient on standardized tests
- Girls in coed classes scored 59% proficient on standardized tests
- Boys in single-sex classes scored 75% proficient on standardized tests
- Girls in single-sex classes scored 86% proficient on standardized tests
- Elimination of distractions caused by the opposite sex, particularly in the pubescent learning years
- Ability to use teaching techniques specifically geared to how boys or girls learn best
- The breakdown of gender stereotypes, which actually appear to be more prevalent in coeducational classrooms
- A single-sex format offers opportunities to teachers and students that may not exist in the coed classroom