Here at Carfax Education, our experts look at the benefits for both sides of the debate and discuss the key questions to consider when deciding which environment will be best for your child.
The benefits of a Single-Sex Schooling
- Many parents like that single-sex schools can offer a curriculum and teaching style, both in academic and co-curricular programmes focusing entirely on the learning styles and needs of both boys and girls.
- There is evidence that students are less guided by gender stereotypes when picking subjects; this is particularly true for girls' schools, where students are more likely to take sciences to a higher level and to go on to achieve better results. Similarly, there can be a greater uptake of the creative arts from the boys.
- One key argument for educating girls and boys separately in the academic incentive; Some studies have shown that single-sex schools give students a better opportunity to focus on their studies without unnecessary distractions from the opposite gender.
- Some students feel freer to offer opinions and less inhibited in sharing their thoughts in a single-sex environment. They are more willing to engage in activities without fear of failing in front of the opposite sex.
- Many single-sex schools would claim that there is less social pressure on their students and that this fosters strong and supportive friendships and builds confidence and self-esteem.
- It is a debate that for girls, a single-sex environment creates a more encouraging and welcoming environment, away from the potential of the hyper-masculinity that can be present in mixed-sex schools. However, the counterargument would question be that students in both cases deny the social & emotional experiences necessary for a fully rounded education
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The benefits of a Co-Ed Schooling
- Many practitioners would argue that co-educational schools encourage the development of strong social skills and development of healthy attitudes toward gender equality. The question is: by segregating the sexes if we are in danger of treating them differently and teaching them that they are inherently different.
- There is certainly an argument that preparing students for the real world in a co-ed environment is a more realistic experience. Mixed schools would suggest that they prepare students better for long term social and emotional success in an increasingly open and interconnected world.
- Mixed schools expose children to more diversity at a young age as it prepares them better for dealing with a world full of different types of people and gender.
- A Co-ed environment encourages both genders to speak out and listen to each other, promoting good communication skills and a healthy respect for others' views
For many families choosing whether your child is in a co-ed or single-sex environment is not an option. In the UK, most maintained sector schools are co-ed, and only the private sector offers the choice of single-sex or a diamond style education. In the UAE, the opposite is true, where most of the private schools are co-ed, with boys and girls often being educated separately in the public system. The most important thing to consider; there is no system better than the other.
The key questions to ask yourself are: -
- What do I want my child to get out of school?
- What values do you feel are essential?
- Where are they best represented?
It is important to remember that the social implications and inherent school structure are not crucial. The child is the importance of this decision. The key is for you to understand your child and their educational needs. Then plan based on what will best suit your child.