Single-sex education has gone in and out of fashion over the years and more recently has caused legal controversy when a Birmingham school was taken to court over their decision to separate boys and girls within a mixed-sex school. Academics and researchers have widely differing opinions on the topic and may students themselves suggest that gendered setting or streaming may be the answer.
The wider question remains; does single-sex education actually work? There is little evidence to say that it does and whilst some research claims that segregation allows for better focus others question our ability to show young people how to live harmoniously if we teach them that different sexes cannot be educated in the same room. New research now suggests that we are sending damaging messages to our teens when we tell them they cannot co-exist with the opposite sex when it comes to education, and then later, work.
Many people believe that girls are more capable of working in collaboration with others as they mature quicker and enjoy working in groups. Boys, on the other hand, are supposedly more competitive and like to achieve success by themselves, finding their place within the pecking order. This can be difficult to manage in a classroom environment but teachers are well-qualified individuals who are capable of extracting the best from their students whilst also being responsible for teaching them new methods of communication with others. Surely, if boys and girls work together, they will come to understand how they can learn new skills from one another and use these to achieve better results!
The ingrained belief that specific subjects are masculine or feminine appears to be at the bottom of the problem and the separation of the sexes only goes to further the belief that girls can’t access science and maths, where are boys are deemed to be poor at English. Not only are these notions inaccurate but they are damaging the workplace as fewer women forge careers in sciences and technology and men are noticeably absent in roles such as nursing and childcare.
The gender gap in education has not shrunk for many years and it seems to be a good time to consider where the influence of gender tends to come from. Most gendered opinions are forged within the home and then taken to school; many parents believe that a girl is less capable at maths and that their boys should avoid subjects like childcare. Until our homes become a place that encourages interests regardless of gender then we are not likely to see much change in the education arena.
At Phi Tuition, we value everyone’s desire to succeed, regardless of gender, and want to be the go-to provider of choice when your young people need that extra encouragement or support to reach their goals. We strongly advocate for a gender balance in science and technology and pride ourselves on the opportunities we offer to help all students maximise their success. If your son or daughter is looking for some tuition then contact us today so that we can discuss your requirements.