Single Sex Classrooms: Innovative, or Evil?
by Danielle Wood
There’s a revolution going on in America. Across the country, single-sex classrooms are popping up in increasing numbers. And they’re not just in private schools anymore. They’re in public ones. By this upcoming fall, close to 500 public schools nationwide will serve up single-sex classes, according to the National Association for Single Sex Public Education. Considering that there were closer to a dozen just a decade ago, those are huge numbers.
What’s a liberated lady supposed to think of all this? Is pink really the new black? I have to say, it’s a tough pill to swallow. I grew up in the post-Feminist era, with a mom who told me women could have it all and a dad that threw the football with me religiously each night in the backyard. My parents were hell-bent on teaching my brother and I that gender was irrelevant. They bristled when my elementary school music teacher refused to let me play the drums and forced me to play the flute because it was “more ladylike”. And they rejoiced when I showed an interest in math.
Still, it took having kids to make me realize that there is something to this whole gender debate. Despite my efforts to give my son a bevy of stuffed animals, get him interested in cooking, and engage him in arts and crafts, he still gravitates towards books with text along the lines of “SMASH, CRASH! I love to SMASH!” and sticks the perfect length for sword play, while his female classmates cluster around the dress-up corner and fight over the baby stroller. I hate to admit it, but it’s true.