Gender Segregation Essays

“When most young boys are exposed to threat and confrontation, their senses sharpen, and they feel a thrill,” explains Dr.

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Separating boys and girls is a longstanding tradition at private and parochial schools.

The concept began to gain traction in American public schools earlier this decade as schools began to experiment with SSPE in oft-desperate attempts to reduce disciplinary problems and improve test scores.

Last October, more than 450 public school teachers, principals and central administrators from across the United States — as well as from Argentina, Bermuda, Canada and Poland — came together in Atlanta, Georgia, for the fifth annual convention of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education.

Dozens of presentations extolled the superiority of gender-segregated classrooms and entire schools, with lecture titles such as, “Burps, Farts and Snot: Teaching Chemistry To Middle School Boys,” and “Just Don’t Say ‘SEX’ — tips on how to implement single-gender programs in conservative, rural communities.” Attendees ranged from Chicago and Philadelphia inner-city high school teachers to elementary school principals from small towns in Idaho and Indiana.

“For many outcomes, there is no evidence of either benefit or harm.

There is limited support for the view that single-sex schooling may be harmful.” The DOE report included the caveat that most research into gender-segregated education has been conducted in private Catholic schools, which hardly makes for an apples-to-apples comparison to public education.They represented a fraction of recent converts to the Single Sex Public Education (SSPE) movement, which has expanded at a remarkable pace.In 2002, only 11 public schools in the United States had gender-segregated classrooms. The movement is based on the hypothesis that hard-wired differences in the ways that male and female brains develop and function in childhood through adolescence require classrooms in which boys and girls are not only separated by gender, but also taught according to radically different methods.“There is no reliable evidence that segregating students by sex improves learning by either sex.“ It is fair to say the supposed benefits of gender-segregated education in public schools claimed by SSPE supporters are unproven.On the other hand, there is no solid evidence that SSPE is harmful to the learning process of either gender, as critics argue.“Sex segregation doesn’t make public schools more like private schools,” says Allison Neal, staff attorney with the ACLU of Alabama.“If some private schools provide a better education, it’s because of their resources, not because they’re single sex.” Dr.Although SSPE programs are now in place at schools in 39 states and the District of Columbia, they are particularly popular in urban districts with large minority populations, and most concentrated in the Southeastern U. South Carolina has 173 SSPE schools, by far the most of any state.Last year, the largest school system in Alabama, the Mobile County Public School System, with 66,000 students, implemented SSPE programs in eight of its 93 schools with no parental notification.(The other seven Mobile County SSPE programs either offered all elective courses to both genders, in single-sex classrooms, or made their SSPE programs optional, with co-ed alternatives.At Hankins, they were mandatory.) “While schools might think that sex-segregated classes will be a quick fix for failing schools, in reality they are inherently unequal and shortchange both boys and girls,” said Emily Martin, Deputy Director of the ACLU Women’s Rights Program.


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