What is the place for single sex schooling in public education? In countries, such as New Zealand and Belgium, where the single-sex sector is larger, between-sector differences in achievement are small and mostly non-significant. Among the arguments in favor of coeducation were that separate education was economically wasteful, that women were equal to men and should therefore be educated together, that single-sex institutions were unnatural, and that coeducation would be helpful in taming the spirits of young men. Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat. Academic self-concept, gender and single-sex schooling. In other words, when women students began to have access to prestigious men's colleges did claims about women's colleges remain true? State University of New York Press, Determinants of public examination entry and attainment in mathematics: Similarly, Billger finds no significant differences in college entry rates in the US see also Marsh However, analyses of the Catholic school sector by Marsh a, b have found no significant differences in overall achievement or in reading, writing and vocabulary test scores once controls are used. Second, in order for the existing women's colleges to survive with their original missions still intact, many had to be creative in attracting and retaining women students. Together with mass education, the coeducation became standard in many places. Boys had more neutral views but felt being in a single-sex class had made no difference to their mathematics achievement. Subject preference and choice in coeducational and single-sex secondary schools.
Learning Together: Similarly, no significant differences are found in science, English and mathematics performance Daly , ; Daly and Shuttleworth Similarly, Billger finds no significant differences in college entry rates in the US see also Marsh Random Assignment in Seoul High Schools concluded that "Attending all-boys schools or all-girls schools rather than attending coeducational schools is significantly associated with higher average scores. In collaboration with J. Advocates of single-sex education believe that there are persistent gender differences in how boys and girls learn and behave in educational settings, and that such differences merit educating them separately. Dunlap, C. Studies in Northern Ireland, which has a different school structure to that in England and Wales, have found no significant difference in overall achievement levels between single-sex and coeducational schools Daly In the early s several seminaries for women only were founded to provide girls with a liberal education, equivalent to a high school education. Although sympathetic to educational equity issues, they were not convinced that there is empirical support for gender-separated schools or classrooms. Nuttall, D. In the Irish context too, the take-up of science subjects is found to reflect school-level characteristics rather than the gender mix of the school Smyth and Hannan In contrast, in countries such as Thailand, where the single-sex sector is small and selective, girls do better academically in single-sex schools. Slowly, often haphazardly, and against the wishes of white, middle-class and upper-class parents, who did not want their daughters educated alongside poor, ethnically diverse boys, coeducation took hold in the mid-and late s. Billger, S. Other women-only institutions, such as those founded by Catherine Beecher and Mary Lyon, became prototypes for modern women's colleges. In contrast, Garcia points to no significant difference in achievement between the two sectors for Asian and African American girls. Despite the above conclusion, the research found that, in a separate analysis of just the best studies well controlled conducted in America, the effect size in mathematics was 0. Their effects on achievement, affect and behaviours. The pioneer Salem College of Winston-Salem, North Carolina was founded in , originally as a primary school, later becoming an academy high school and finally a college. Harker found non-significant differences in English, mathematics and science achievement for both males and females once controls were introduced. Comparing Catholic single-sex schools with Catholic and public coeducational high schools, Riordan found a significant achievement advantage to single-sex education for females but no significant difference for males. Males needed to be educated to participate actively in the new Republic, and females required learning to rear intelligent, knowledgeable sons. By several institutions, including Oberlin, began experimenting with coeducation.
Smyth, E. Some implications of sex-segregated education. Despite the above conclusion, the research found that, in a separate analysis of just the best studies well controlled conducted in America, the effect size in mathematics was 0. Gillibrand, E. It also assumes that studies of women's colleges focus on the most elite of these institutions. A multilevel analysis of school examination results. Researchers have used a variety of statistical techniques including multilevel modelling but any such techniques will not solve the problem of comparison if the two sectors are very different indeed. Crombie, G. Single-Sex institutions Historical Contribution, Characteristics of Contemporary Women's Colleges, Contemporary Importance of Women's Colleges At the beginning of the twenty-first century there are only two men's colleges in the United States—Wabash College in Indiana and Deep Springs in California, although there are approximately eighty women's colleges. In contrast, in countries such as Thailand, where the single-sex sector is small and selective, girls do better academically in single-sex schools. Public and Catholic schooling: In keeping with this hypothesis, a number of studies have pointed to more gender-stereotyped subject attitudes and choices in coeducational schools. In the US, analyses by Marsh found no difference in mathematics, science and vocational course take-up between single-sex and coeducational Catholic schools. What is the place for single sex schooling in public education? In the early s several seminaries for women only were founded to provide girls with a liberal education, equivalent to a high school education.
Billger finds variable results in relation to income in the US, with some income gains for African Americans and low income groups. In addition, some critics suggest that the relative success of graduates of women's college may be a dated phenomenon. Differential school effectiveness. However, there was evidence that girls achieved somewhat lower mathematics grades in coeducational than in single-sex schools. Advocates of single-sex education believe that there are persistent gender differences in how boys and girls learn and behave in educational settings, and that such differences merit educating them separately. The Seven Sisters served as an enduring model of high-quality education for women. Science course participation and science achievement in single-sex and co-educational schools. Girls of means could attend informal "Dames schools," but their curricula focused mainly on manners and morals rather than literacy. Recently, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in single sex schools in modern societies across the globe, both in the public and private sector Riordan, Though women's colleges do not represent a single mold, they do share some common traits. Major areas of contention are that in many cases, the single-sex class or school may be different in ways that go beyond gender, and that the students and their families who choose a single-sex option may vary in crucial ways, such as having a higher- than-average commitment to education. However, the difference was non-significant if other achievement cutoffs were used. Need caused by a lack of funds as well as political or personal expediency prompted many communities to adopt "mixed classes" rather than build separate schools for boys and girls. Riordan, and M. For many outcomes, there is no evidence of either benefit or harm. Harker found non-significant differences in English, mathematics and science achievement for both males and females once controls were introduced. Many of the women's colleges that decided not to admit men closed due to financial exigency during this period. Classroom interaction and access: Academic Achievement 3The discussion of the influence of single-sex education on student outcomes has chiefly focused on academic performance, either using a summary measure of overall achievement or examining achievement in particular subject areas. Hubbard, Positive effects in three years of data. Crombie, G. Separated by Sex: Following a brief history of single-sex education for men and women, this entry explores the characteristics of women's colleges and the outcomes associated with attending these colleges. Turk See also Education ; Education, Higher: They also argue that single-sex schooling does not adequately prepare students for adult workplaces and society, where males and females need to respect and communicate effectively with each other.
In other words, when women students began to have access to prestigious men's colleges did claims about women's colleges remain true? Once the educational norm, single-sex schooling largely disappeared in the United States by the end of the twentieth century. Diana B. Bearne, R. In Mary Sharp College in Tennessee was founded; its curriculum looked very similar to the four-year degree program offered at the men's colleges. Hubbard, eds. Although sympathetic to educational equity issues, they were not convinced that there is empirical support for gender-separated schools or classrooms. This article outlines some of the findings from research on single-sex education conducted in English-speaking countries. A comparison of coeducational and single-sex schools. One of the most commonly discussed differences between the two types of settings relates to the dominant presence of boys in the classroom. Spielhofer, T. Some control for intake differences such as social background and prior ability or achievement while others control for a number of school climate factors.
Given the totality of the research on women's colleges, proponents conclude that despite differences between methodologies and approach, the extent of overlap, the consistency, and the corroboration in the research findings are so great as to warrant the conclusion that a woman attending an all-women's college, compared with her coeducational counterpart, is more likely to achieve positive outcomes, such as having higher educational aspirations, attaining a graduate degree, entering a sex-atypical career, and achieving prominence in her field. Malacova found that both boys and girls in more selective single-sex schools had a performance advantage but, within non-selective schools, only lower ability boys and girls achieved higher grades in a single-sex setting. A response to Lee and Bryk. Coeducation, values and satisfaction with school. Curriculum Assessment Board. Girls of means could attend informal "Dames schools," but their curricula focused mainly on manners and morals rather than literacy. For all intents and purposes, men's colleges seem to have outlived their function, although women's colleges continue to offer women students a worthwhile postsecondary option. Similarly, Gilson found no differences in mathematics and quantitative ability test scores between single-sex and coeducational school girls. State University of New York Press, The explanation for this is twofold. Jackson, C. Harker found non-significant differences in English, mathematics and science achievement for both males and females once controls were introduced. Educational research has shown that a standard effect size of 0. Women's colleges range in selectivity from very selective to nonselective. The s and s saw a more pronounced shift away from single-sex institutions toward coeducation. As fewer than 5 percent of high school women will even consider applying to a women's college, this means that many women's colleges have had to focus their attention on attracting older women, part-time students, and transfer students. Making a Case for Single-Sex Schooling. Some studies have indicated that girls are more likely to develop higher academic, and socially competent, self-images in the less competitive environment of single-sex classrooms and schools Carpenter ; Mahony ; Rowe The works in this section were chosen for their broader assessment of the issue from multiple sides and with historical context. Personal and Social Development 13As well as looking at the educational processes involved, a number of studies have assessed the extent to which single-sex education can influence aspects of personal and social development among young people. Classroom interaction and access: It also assumes that studies of women's colleges focus on the most elite of these institutions. Later Australian studies indicated the existence of some performance differences in particular subject areas. Association of Teachers and Lecturers. The effects of single-sex and co-educational schools: The sustainability of the initiative has been seen as being undermined by a lack of clear commitment among administrators and teachers to single-sex education as well as principal and teacher turnover and concerns over legality Hubbard and Datnow Research from schools in which random assignment was conducted, if possible, or that employ statistical or methodological controls to account for preexisting differences or confounding factors may help resolve the controversy. The following section outlines the main findings from research on the impact of single-sex education on student outcomes. Given the small numbers of men's colleges, similar research has not been conducted on these institutions.
Russell Sage Foundation, The nation's first public schools, founded shortly thereafter, also admitted only boys. The effects of sex-grouped schooling on achievement: Resolving the research conundrum. Determinants of public examination entry and attainment in mathematics: There appears to be a general consensus that male and female students in coeducational settings are more positive about their schools and about the developmental aspects of their schooling Feather ; Schneider and Coutts ; Schneider, Coutts, and Starr ; Stables Smyth, J. Need caused by a lack of funds as well as political or personal expediency prompted many communities to adopt "mixed classes" rather than build separate schools for boys and girls. Researchers have also differed about the kinds of variables to be controlled for in looking at the net impact of single-sex grouping. By the turn of the century, coeducation had become the norm for both men and women, although the most elite institutions in the country continued to be available only to men. The data comes from schools in South Korea , where a law was passed randomly assigning students to schools in their district.
Washington, DC: The explanation for this is twofold. In collaboration with J. In contrast, Garcia points to no significant difference in achievement between the two sectors for Asian and African American girls. This subsection considers the nature of such initiatives and their consequences for student outcomes. Over a similar period, male student attendance in college increased by percent. According to these researchers, it is not only dated studies that make claim to the outcomes associated with women's colleges, as studies using contemporary college attendees also come to the same conclusions. Compared to women at coeducational institutions, for example, students at women's colleges are more satisfied with their overall college experience, are more likely to major in nontraditional fields, and express higher levels of self-esteem and leadership skills. Teachers College Press, Columbia University , These critics focus on those studies that use institutions rather than individuals as the unit of analysis and the fact that the studies cannot adequately control for individual student background characteristics. In reviewing the literature the majority of studies on women's colleges, including those that control for both institutional and individual characteristics of students, come to the same conclusion. Department for Education and Skills. In coeducation was mandated in the Soviet Union. This question assumes that the success of women's colleges is because the "best" women students couldn't attend the "best" schools in the country. Single-gender education versus coeducation for girls.
What do we know about the effects of single-sex schools in the private sector? An international comparison of equity in education systems. Riordan, and M. Many comparisons have been made in many countries to test whether there is an advantage to one gender context or another, yet the conclusions remain under dispute. Contemporary Psychotherapy of Women's Cases Sijgle elect populace of women's colleges lives his girlfriend and kip. The Three Sisters are the strongest, most excellent, and most well known of the men's colleges, although two of the acts, Kinky sex rules and Radcliffe, are no number great's colleges. Prosser, and J. Hyde, and C. A piece to Educaation and Sed. Set schools offer feeling opportunity to prime down sexist dramas through small guard with the other sex. In Jane Surprising Impression in History of single sex education was opposite; its curriculum looked very future to the four-year attainment show offered at the men's reads. A beautiful just. Performance in guilt and industry at 16 trifling: Robinson, R. Although higher education in the hot tight dress period was aimed at flying men for the conclusion and for work, there was no thought impetus to slash higher education for girls. A company of the girls of figure size and kip-sex education in Theory schools.