Move to Single-Sex Classes Fans Debate ; New Federal Rules Let US Public Schools Split Up Boys and Girls. Research on the Practice Is Inconclusive

By Amanda Paulson and Stacy A. Teicher writers of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, October 26, 2006 | Go to article overview

Move to Single-Sex Classes Fans Debate ; New Federal Rules Let US Public Schools Split Up Boys and Girls. Research on the Practice Is Inconclusive


Amanda Paulson and Stacy A. Teicher writers of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Controversial new regulations give educators far more latitude to establish schools and classes strictly for a single gender, even as research on the practice is scarce and inconclusive.

The regulations, released Wednesday by the Department of Education, mark a major shift in the interpretation of Title IX, approved 34 years ago to bar sex discrimination in schools.

It's a change that has intensified a long-running debate over whether boys and girls learn better in a single-sex environment, with critics warning the regulations may roll back years of hard- won ground.

Even the Department of Education, in announcing the rules, acknowledged research is mixed and backed away from endorsing single- sex classrooms.

"The research, though it's ongoing and shows mixed results, suggests that single-sex education can provide benefits to some students under certain circumstances," said Assistant Secretary of Education Stephanie Monroe, in a news briefing. She emphasized any single-sex environment would be voluntary, and an equivalent coeducational option would be available.

Research on the practice has been controversial. Theories that each gender has different learning styles or brain growth, or that boys are losing ground in traditional schools, have caught on in the media and popular imagination.

However critics say little of it stands up to scrutiny, and there are far more similarities between genders - and differences among individuals - than there are broad general differences between the sexes.

"Race and class are the two biggest predictors [of achievement] in every single study I've looked at," says Rosalind Barnett, a senior scientist at the Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, in Waltham, Mass. "Of all the things you could think about doing to improve educational outcomes, separating kids by gender is really low on the list."

Dr. Barnett questions using resources for something with so little scientific basis, and she worries there could be negative consequences if girls and boys start to believe what she says are myths of gender differences - that girls are challenged in math and science, and boys have a harder time with reading and verbal skills.

Nonetheless, single-sex classrooms are catching on among many parents and educators who feel they see a difference in kids and believe it might help them focus.

Public school districts have held off on doing much that's separated by gender for fear of legal challenges, but a few single- sex schools have opened in recent years as pilot programs or if the district could show a compelling reason for doing so. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Move to Single-Sex Classes Fans Debate ; New Federal Rules Let US Public Schools Split Up Boys and Girls. Research on the Practice Is Inconclusive
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.