What are the academic outcomes of students who attend single-sex classes?
There has been a huge surge of interest in single-sex public education since the United States Department of Education amended Title IX on October 25, 2006 allowing single-sex education in public schools. Historically, it has been difficult to evaluate outcomes given that there is variability in the way in which gender-specific teaching practices are employed and differential selection into coed and single-sex environments.
The following summarizes major findings on outcomes:
Example: At Woodward Avenue Elementary in DeLand, Florida, 85% of boys in single-gender classes passed reading in comparison to 55% in coeducational classes.
Although some studies have shown no differences, studies in England, Australia, and Jamaica have shown that students educated in single-sex schools and classrooms academically outperformed students in coed schools.
Boys’ performance was boosted in English and foreign languages while girls’ performance improved in math and science.
Students in single-sex schools and classrooms demonstrate better behavior, including fewer discipline referrals.
Reliance on different brain areas for accurate language performance suggests that boys and girls are processing language information differently.
Single-sex schools and classrooms promoted a wider breadth of educational opportunity
Girls in all-girls’ schools are more likely to study subjects such as advanced math, computer science, and physics.
Boys in all-boys’ schools are twice as likely to study foreign languages, art, music, and drama.