Education: Are You Going to Make the Right Choice?

Article excerpt

Byline: Ashleigh O'Connor

SINGLE sex versus co-education schooling. A debate that has swayed back and forth for the past 50 years. Take into account that in Australia if your choice of education is private it will be more than likely be a single sex school, the opposite for a public school.

Advocates of single sex education continually argue that boys and girls have varied needs and require different styles of teaching to learn to their full potential.

Single sex education has obvious advantages for girls. It opens up educational opportunities in non traditional courses such as mathematics or science. Single sex schools often provide strong female role models and the students are therefore encouraged to exercise leadership. There is less pressure during adolescence when girls are more prone to suffer from low self esteem. More focus is given to girls in sporting pursuits which might not be as prominent in a co-ed environment.

Boys are often out performed by girls. This sometimes causes boys to withdraw from some curriculum areas. In addition to this there is some indication that in co-ed classrooms either boys or girls can be discriminated against according to the subject, the gender of the teacher and the teaching technique.

In an Australian study incorporating 270,000 students, Ken Rowe concluded that on average both girls and boys performed 15 to 22 percentile points higher on standardised tests while attending a single sex school.

Research has shown major psychological differences in even pre-adolescent boys and girls. …

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