Thursday, January 20, 2011

Boys Do Better Academically in Single-Sex Schools

With the continual decline in male academic success, single-sex schools may be an idea whose time has finally arrived. When I was in school, the idea of no girls was terrible, but that was more because I was bored with classes taught to the lowest common denominator than because of anything else - and girls made life more interesting.

But more and more boys are struggling and falling way behind - largely because in our efforts to not exclude girls from the classroom environment, we have gone too far in that direction, to the point where we teach to girls and ignore the struggling boys. Single-sex classes and schools may eb the answer - allowing us to help the boys catch up academically.

Boys Feel Academically Confident At Single Sex Schools

Boys aged 12-15 years old who attend single sex schools feel more confident in their academic ability than those who attend co-educational schools.

This is one of findings of a Doctoral research project carried out at the Institute of Education by Dr Sanchita Chowdhury that was presented at the Division of Educational and Child Psychology annual conference on the 12 January 2011, at the Hilton Hotel, Newcastle Gateshead.

Unlike previous research that focused on the academic achievements of single sex and co-educational pupils, this research investigated the impact of the type of school on pupil's self-esteem. 1,118 pupils aged 12-15 years old from two female single-sex, two male single-sex, and two co-educational schools completed questionaires that ascertained their self perceptions in a number of areas: academic competence, athletic competence, confidence in finding and keeping a job, close friendships, romantic appeal and social acceptance (Harter Self Perception Profile).

Dr Chowdhury said: "The questionnaire revealed some effects of the type of school; however the most important factor was the gender of the pupil. Boys in general, rated themselves as higher than females in most of the competences except close friendships.

"Boys at single sex schools perceived themselves as more competent academically. We also found that both boys and girls at single sex schools were more likely to feel attractive and datable to the opposite sex. The findings of the study are helpful in understanding what pupils find beneficial and comparing what works for boys and girls across different settings so psychological services and schools can target support in the right places."

View the full conference programme online.

The British Psychological Society


Anonymous said...

Single sex schools are wrong.
It has been scientifically proven that any separation from the other gender amongst children breeds sexist beleifs and unfair preduces about their own gender.
Said separation could be as simple as separating girls and boys in a class for organisatino purposes.

jen said...

this research can help to prove or disapproved some issue about gender differences..
to the author of this research can i have a copy of the questionnaire you used in this study..i'll really appreciate if you will reply in this message.. thank you and more power :)