Single-Sex Classes

Do you think single-sex classes are a good idea?

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Look around your classroom. Is the majority male, female, or is it evenly split? Whatever the ratio may be, picture a classroom that’s been separated by sex, one class of only boys and one class of only girls. At a glance, single-sex classes may sound like a good idea however we have to account several things at play. Things such as teaching equality, gender bias, and the reality we live in all are important to consider. Do you think you could work in a gender-separated classroom?

Every teacher teaches in a different way and style. A sudden change of teaching to fit gender-specific ways may affect the quality of the education that students receive. A student study was conducted involving thirteen teachers and asked if they preferred a co-education or single sexed class. Sixty-seven percent of the teachers preferred a co-educational experience while the other thirty-three percent who had a preference all chose girls. With this information, teachers would most likely give a better learning experience for girls while for boys it may be unequal.

In 2010, UPENN conducted a study in child development involving 57 preschoolers. For two weeks, the preschoolers were placed into different classrooms categorized by gender. The teachers were asked to use gender-specific language and vocabulary when teaching the classes. After the two weeks, the preschoolers were back in their original classrooms. During the first week of being back into coed classes, the preschoolers showed signs of gender bias and followed stereotypes that were created around both genders. This meant that when they were back together, the preschoolers didn’t want to play, talk, or have any sort of interaction with each other which can lead to social tension as time goes by.

The workplace is diverse when it comes to its employees. This means, that the workplace isn’t necessarily separated by gender. So why should we teach gender segregation at school? Coeducation not only prepares students on how to work with each other, but it’s also has been shown that classes with a split of girls and boys have better grades. Having about an even split of the two genders could balance any tension or drama in the classroom. One could argue, that having a class with both genders, creates peer pressure which hinders students’ comprehension abilities, as well as their confidence when asking questions. However, with coeducation, two genders may find sympathy and empathy for each other when they see one struggling. This, in turn, gives an environment that students are comfortable to learn when they are assured that they have a support system around them.

Do you think you could work in a gender-segregated classroom? The ideas of single-sex class sound good on paper, but may not always turn out as well in reality. Factors such as teaching equality, gender bias, and reality all come into play. So, look around your classroom and picture a class that you think would suit you. What would be your ideal classroom look like?




Works Cited

Child Development, November/December 2010, Volume 81, Number 6, Pages 1787–1798

Sheffey, JR, et al. “Google Slides – Create and Edit Presentations Online, for Free.” Google,                               Google,20Jan.2020,