Single sex classrooms.

Would you put your kids in single sex classrooms if they were around?


  • Total voters
    28

abudabit

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#1
COLUMBIA, S.C. - David Chadwell believes boys and girls can get through the awkward middle school years better when they're separated, learning in classrooms tailored to the learning styles of each gender.

As the country's first and only statewide coordinator of single-gender education, Chadwell is helping to make South Carolina a leader among public schools that offer such programs. About 70 schools offer the program now, and the goal is to have programs available to every child within five years, he said.


The theory is that by separating girls and boys — especially during middle school years typically marked by burgeoning hormones, self doubt and peer pressure — lessons can be more effective because they are in unique classroom settings.

For example, Chadwell explains, research shows boys don't hear as well as girls, so teachers of all-boys classes often use microphones. And because boys' attention spans tend to wander, incorporating movement in a lesson, like throwing a ball to a student when he's chosen to answer a question, can keep them focused.

In one recent boys' class, a group of gangly seventh-graders sprawled on the floor around a giant vinyl chart, using skateboard parts and measuring tape to learn pre-algebra. In a different school a few miles away, middle school girls interviewed each other, then turned their surveys about who's shy and who has dogs into fractions, decimals and percentages. Classical music played softly in the background.

Teachers in all-girls classes say they've learned to speak more softly, because their students can take yelling more personally than boys. And the educators gear their lessons to what students like: assigning action novels for boys to read or allowing girls to evaluate cosmetics for science projects.

"Boys like the activities. They like moving around. They like something dramatic," said Becky Smythe, who teaches all-boys and all-girls English and history at Hand Middle in Columbia, which launched single-gender classes this year in its sixth grade. The school plans to expand the program to seventh grade next year.

Chadwell, a Detroit native, had spent years in classrooms elsewhere, including teaching in a Quaker school outside Philadelphia and helping start a school in China, before he began teaching in South Carolina in 1999.

Five years later, aiming to create what he calls the "best middle school experience possible," Chadwell helped launch South Carolina's first public, all-day single-sex program. Then came new state schools Superintendent Jim Rex's push to expand single-gender education to give parents more options within public schools, and Chadwell seemed perfect to head those efforts. He took the post in July.

"No other state has anyone remotely like David Chadwell," said Leonard Sax, founder of the National Association for Single-Sex Public Education and the author of "Why Gender Matters." "It's such an advantage to have a knowledgeable person who's led the format himself in a public school saying 'This works and this doesn't work.'"

"I'm hopeful we'll see more states following South Carolina's lead," Sax said.

The No Child Left Behind law allowed districts to use public school funds for single-gender education and directed the U.S. Education Department to update its rules, which it did last year. The new rules made it easier to implement same-sex education anytime schools think it will improve students' achievement, expand the diversity of courses, or meet kids' individual needs.

At least 363 public schools across the country now offer single-sex educational opportunities, according to the single-sex education association.

Separating the sexes in public schools has mixed reviews.

Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, believes states should not advocate educational experiments. :icon_roll Segregating boys and girls could damage students if boys come away with sexist ideas of being superior :icon_roll, or if students are boxed into learning a certain way, she said. She also questioned whether single-gender programs' successes are due to good teachers and smaller classes, not sex segregation.

"There are ways to appeal to interests and learning styles and abilities without lumping people based on gender, which is not a good measure of anything," Gandy said. "At what point is it OK to make judgments of entire groups of human beings based on race or sex?"

David Belton, a Columbia parent, said he was leery of letting his daughter enroll in Dent Middle's inaugural single-gender program in 2004.

But his daughter, who then was entering sixth grade, insisted. Now he's glad she joined the program. He believes that because she wasn't self-conscious about boys' opinions of her, his daughter felt comfortable speaking out in class and her confidence flourished. She was eager to go to school every day, he said.

"I would have never thought along those lines. But I see that now, as she wants to run for this or that and get involved," Belton said about his daughter, now a freshman in a coed high school. "It gave her a foundation to say 'Yes, I am that good.'"

Boys also say that being separated from girls helps them learn.

"I like it because I can focus and study more here," said Quinn Martin, an eighth-grader who started making the honor roll after entering an all-boys program. "Everybody's more focused on their work, and it's easier to learn."
What do you think? Good or bad? Would you put your kids in one?
 

Creampier

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#2
I was sent to an all-male high school because I was a miscreant and needed to be Corrrrrrrrrrected!!!!!

Horrible, horrible idea. I was so awful with the ladies before I met my current girlfriend 2 years ago. It messed me up for years!
 

Beeman99

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#3
sounds great if you want your kid to either be gay or if you want your kid to have zero social skills with the other sex
 

Kris_LTRMa

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#4
sounds great if you want your kid to either be gay or if you want your kid to have zero social skills with the other sex
As for the kid being gay - unless the kid was gay to begin with, he or she isn't going to be gay by attending a single sex school.

The kid will have zero social skills when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. I went to an all girls high school and was totally fucked when it came to dealing with guys. I'm still awkward in social situations, especially if it's the first time I'm meeting the guy.
 

thrawn42

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#5
Segregating boys and girls could damage students if boys come away with sexist ideas of being superior

But it would be okay if girls came away with the idea of being superior, because it's not sexist in that case. While she and her whole organization are busy hypocritically nurturing and promoting woman's next inferiority complex, will somebody please kick this cunt in the box and then down a stairwell?

Die.
 

Xyn

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#6
What about the queers?
 

Hudson

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#7
I went to an all boys Catholic school for 2 years, it sucked so I finaly got my parents to transfer me.
 
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#8
But it would be okay if girls came away with the idea of being superior, because it's not sexist in that case. While she and her whole organization are busy hypocritically nurturing and promoting woman's next inferiority complex, will somebody please kick this cunt in the box and then down a stairwell?

Die.

x2
 

Kris_LTRMa

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#9
But it would be okay if girls came away with the idea of being superior, because it's not sexist in that case. While she and her whole organization are busy hypocritically nurturing and promoting woman's next inferiority complex, will somebody please kick this cunt in the box and then down a stairwell?

Die.
The point they're trying to make is that in the 6th and 7th grade girls are pretty stupid when it comes to impressing boys. They're afraid to speak up in class for fear of looking like a brainiac geek & being ridiculed or looking like an ignoramus and being ridiculed. Therefore by putting them in a single sex school, they'll be able to reach their full potential without having to worry about impressing the cute boy who sits next to her in Algebra.

It's all bullshit as far as I'm concerned.
 

Sinn Fein

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#10
I would, especially with a daughter and if the schools in the area had a "diverse" racial makeup.
 

Butter Nuggets

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#11
If anything, this gender separation should extend to workplaces, roadways, movies and the government.

And of course my trousers.
 

PCLoadLetter

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#12
Perhaps separating them to cater to the different learning styles of boys and girls isn't a bad idea, considering how the entire teaching/learning process has been skewed over the last 20 years or so. The idea in the 70's and 80's was "girls are being left behind by this male-centric teaching process and the boys get preferential treatment." Thanks to the Gloria Allreds of the world, now it's the exact opposite... Girls are far outperforming boys in primary, middle and high school (continuing into college)... we're raising a generation of dopey boys.

Congrats on that one, dear school system. :clap:

Just a little clip from a Newsweek article of some months back:
By almost every benchmark, boys across the nation and in every demographic group are falling behind. In elementary school, boys are two times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with learning disabilities and twice as likely to be placed in special-education classes. High-school boys are losing ground to girls on standardized writing tests. The number of boys who said they didn't like school rose 71 percent between 1980 and 2001, according to a University of Michigan study. Nowhere is the shift more evident than on college campuses. Thirty years ago men represented 58 percent of the undergraduate student body. Now they're a minority at 44 percent. This widening achievement gap, says Margaret Spellings, U.S. secretary of Education, "has profound implications for the economy, society, families and democracy."
The whole article can be found here:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10965522/site/newsweek/
 

WaddleDoodle

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#13
While I'll admit that being in an all-male military academy for the later part of Highschool and part of college did stunt my social growth, it IMMENSELY helped my academic career. I was getting a 2.3 in public school, but my first semester at Valley Forge, I hit a 3.6.

So the question to me is, which is more important? The social skills development, or the academic development?
 

TheDrip

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#14
Of all the states of the Confederacy, why did we take South Carolina back?
 

HummerTuesdays

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#15
The point they're trying to make is that in the 6th and 7th grade girls are pretty stupid when it comes to impressing boys. They're afraid to speak up in class for fear of looking like a brainiac geek & being ridiculed or looking like an ignoramus and being ridiculed. Therefore by putting them in a single sex school, they'll be able to reach their full potential without having to worry about impressing the cute boy who sits next to her in Algebra.

It's all bullshit as far as I'm concerned.
I agree. And I think that kind of giggling - for being smart or asking a silly question - helps with their social skills, too. And shy kids are going to be shy. Being smart or stupid has nothing to do with it.

While I'll admit that being in an all-male military academy for the later part of Highschool and part of college did stunt my social growth, it IMMENSELY helped my academic career. I was getting a 2.3 in public school, but my first semester at Valley Forge, I hit a 3.6.

So the question to me is, which is more important? The social skills development, or the academic development?
I'm going to go with social skills by a small margin. Someone with a 4.0 GPA might suck at interviewing, especially if the boss is of the opposite gender and still not get the job. Oh, and the book smart geek might not have the social skills to become a great manager. And I know we're talking 4th & 5th graders here, but I think the idea is if they get a good foundation they'll do better for the rest of their time in school.
 
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