Imagine being in a classroom with only the same sex, although there’s no distractions from the other gender are you really getting the best education. Are you learning proper social skills? In the article “Why Single-Sex Schools Aren’t Best” by Juliet A. Williams, Williams explains that single sex schools started shortly after slavery was abolished. The goal of these schools and classrooms was to keep males and females of different races apart.
This separation was meant to strengthen a student’s education but what it actually did was hindered learning all together. Single sex schools are harmful to students and their learning because they are based on overbroad stereotypes and gender discrimination. Overbroad gender stereotypes are used to dictate how classrooms are set up to be the most beneficial for the select gender. These assumptions then in turn harm students learning. The author Juliet A.
Williams states, “Girls classrooms are decorated in pastels while boys are surrounded by bold colors; girls are assigned to read romantic fiction, while boys are given non fiction books; boys are subjected to frequent drills and timed tests, while girls are ssigned group work and non competitive activities” (Williams). Each student learns in their own way, therefore using a general consensus of how one sex learns does not benefit everyone. For example some girls aren’t as social as others.
Placing them in constant group work may harm their confidence thus hindering their ability to share their input. Also, being subjected to frequent timed test could cause boys to have high levels of stress. Just because boys typically are “competitive and fast” does not mean that timed test will help their learning. Each student needs their own time to process their work, it is unfair o force them to rush because broad stereotypes say that boys benefit from working fast.
In the article “Judge stops W. Va. Single Sex Classes: Were They a Success or Pseudoscience? the author Stacy Teicher Khadaroo writes “One of the girls, diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder, alleges she was frequently reprimanded for not sitting still, while boys were encouraged to move about their classroom” (Khadaroo). If a female student has a real medical disorder that prohibits her abilities to sit still it is unfair to reprimand her when male students are allowed to be up and moving. Not all male tudents have ADD but yet a broad stereotype says that males tend to move more the females. The female student with ADD has to suffer because she is in an all female class.
Stacy Teicher Khadaroo further emphasizes the incorrectness of single gender classrooms by stating, “A legally blind girl, alleges the lights were not bright enough in her classroom because the teachers have been told that girls respond better to a different kind of light” (Khadaroo). Not all girls respond to dim lighting. It is unjust to assume just because someone is a female that she will benifit to a poorly lit room. For instance with this blind student the faint lighting was completely hindering her ability to learn.
If a student is unable to see her paper because the classroom is too dark how is it fair that she has to struggle, she is not being given the best environment for her education. Classrooms should benefit all students; they in no way should hinder anyone’s ability to learn. Thus, separating students and positing their classrooms based on gender stereotypes is detrimental to the students learning. Furthermore, gender stereotypes in single sex schools and classrooms can lead to sex discrimination.
Catherine Solyom author of the article “Impact of Single-Sex Schools Studied” points out, “Consider a tomboy. In a mixed sex school she can hang out with the boys, but she doesn’t have that option at an all-girls school” (Solyom). Not all people fit into nice little boxes so it’s unfair to assume that the same sex will. As shown with tom boys, girls may want to go play football with the boys instead of making arts and crafts. Same sex schools hinder the ability for students to make friends and build on their social skills.
As a result, boys are being deprived of the opportunity to evelop crucial social skills, such as working collaboratively and thinking creatively, while girls are being denied the opportunity to build test taking skills and learn how to succeed under pressure” claims Juliet A. Williams. In same sex schools it is assumed that boys are better test takers and girls are more like social butterflies therefore that’s the way the classrooms are set up. When both sexes have different classrooms the boys never learn to work together and the girls never learn how to work at an efficient pace.
Boys and girls need balance in their learning to ake sure that they are well rounded for future jobs. In the article “Old Tactics Gets New Use: Schools Separate Girls and Boys” by Motoko Rich, Rich states, “Instead of addressing the sexism, you just remove one sex” (Rich). Single sex classrooms started as a way to keep boys of another race away from girls (williams). This was meant to be the end of racism but that then brought a new problem in education to air, sexism. Boys and girls should not be treated differently they are both humans therefore they should be taught the same.
Education should not be based on your gender but rather how you learn therefore ou get the most out of it. Your education should not be based on your sex but rather your intelligence and your determination to further your education. On the other hand, some people believe that single sex schools benefit students. Another opinion of author Juliet A. Williams points out, “Single sex education raises test scores and boosts student confidence” (Williams). This statement focuses on a few instances, pulling out the good from the bad. Some test scores may be raised but there are other possible factors that could cause high test scores.
For example something that could ffect the students test scores would be if the student was getting extra help outside of class or the teacher and student had a strong relationship. If the relationship is strong then when the student is confused they are likely to go to the teacher individually to get extra help. This extra help could then raise your test scores. Another fact that disproves this argument is Motoko Rich also adds, “single sex education does not show significant academic benefits” (Rich). Therefore as stated by Motoko Rich, people who say single sex schools benefit students learning are uninformed and incorrect.
The evidence to back up the fact that students in single sex schools produce better test scores has too many unknown variables therefore this cannot be proven. There are too many unknowns to say for a fact that single sex schools lead to higher test scores and more confidence. From all the reasons stated above, there is no doubt that single sex schools are harmful to students and their learning because they are based on gender stereotypes and cause discrimination. Gender stereotypes are harmful to students and their learning. It is unfair to assume that each child will fit nicely in their designated place.
Each and every person learns at their own pace in their own way ergo they should get the best possible conditions when it comes to education. Schools should be a place of safety and education not somewhere with gender discrimination and biases. Students should not be separated based on gender because not every person fits in a certain gender standard. In conclusion same sex schools may seem beneficial but clearly they are harmful to students. Students need the best education possible to ensure their success, don’t hinder their learning by gender stereotypes and sex discrimination.