Single Gender Education - Why?
With the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and its subsequent amendment, educational policy makers, administrators and educators within the public sector have accelerated and intensified efforts to identity the most effective instructional strategies that will target all students regardless of gender, ethnicity or other educational or societal categorization. There exists great debate surrounding the wide variety of methodological approaches that might be used to ensure improved educational experiences for all students within public education. As mandated by NCLB instructional strategies identified as having the potential to increase student achievement for students in every population sector within public education must be research based. Evidence of the creditability of these newly identified instructional strategies, through well-conducted scholarly research methodologies, will be necessary for implementation of those strategies and for the receipt of promised additional federal funds as allocated by NCLB.
One such instructional strategy having been identified by some educational researchers as having the potential to facilitate the educational experience for all students is that of single gender education. Single gender education refers to the education of students in an environment which consists of a single gender; that being all-male or all-female. This single gender environment may take the form of a single gender class, consisting of either males or females within a coeducational school setting or a single gender school, consisting of all single gender classes.
Implementation is the next step, right? Think again. NCLB mandates research based innovative instructional strategies. Bradley, (2006) outlines the danger of implementation without first conducting quality current, intensive and high quality research utilizing the public school environment.
“Over the past 25 years the roadway to school reform has been littered by would-be reform panaceas fat on the wayward spending of educational funds. Evidence of fiscally gluttonous, failed and abandoned reform efforts, most attempted without empirical evidence lending creditability to the effort or without appropriate professional development necessary for implementation is everywhere.”
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