Education news: Number of single-sex classrooms on the rise in U.S. schools
By: Ryan Arciero
While coed classrooms are often seen as the norm in traditional American schools today, that may change in the not-too-distant future.
In recent education news, the U.S. Department of Education has revealed this week that the amount of single-sex classrooms nationwide has seen a dramatic increase since gender-oriented limits were lifted. According to a new report on Wednesday from “Education News,” the number of U.S. classrooms with single-sex students has grown almost three times its number in past years.
Growing numbers of single-sex classrooms in U.S. schools
Thanks to a recent academic research article from the Associated Press this week, parents and teachers have become aware that an increasing number of American schools are in the process of trying a single-sex education program in classrooms for students.
The U.S. Department of Education had lifted some tight restrictions on public schools that kept genders apart since early 2006. Since then, single-sex classrooms continue to grow in the states. Namely, in 2002, fewer than 12 recorded public schools were reported to provide single-sex teacher instruction for students; that number has increased to almost 500 school options today.
The academic results of all-boys and all-girls classrooms vary, and are still inconclusive at this point, according to the “Education News” report. The first school in Idaho, for example, to try an all-boys and all-girls classroom was Middleton Heights Elementary. Although the students were split by sex into different classrooms, the school’s teachers and principal reveal that the content curriculum is the same.
However, different learning atmospheres and culture environments have become apparent. The boys and girls meet and play together during recess and lunch hour before returning to their respective classrooms. Males learn in an educational classroom with blue-colored walls and chalkboard, as well as pictures of camping, sports, and other normally seen as “masculine” items. Females, on the other hand, have their classroom colored red and with paper hearts.
Those against single-sex classroom education or gender-restrictions argue that the instruction for just boys or girls separately is not effective. According to Diane Halpern, past president of the American Psychological Association, reveals that these school classrooms wrongly encourage stereotypes for the genders.
Proponents use studies that show single-sex instruction is actually beneficial for young students. Middleton Heights Elementary pointed to research that showed boys, for example, who struggled in reading were improving in gender-split classrooms. The move has been quite popular, and spread to other parts of the school.
Educational researchers will have to wait and see how this single-sex classroom experiment turns out, and how it compares to the successes or pitfalls of a traditional coed student rooms.
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