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Educational programs should equip learners with the best competencies in order to become successful citizens. Policymakers have been examining the effectiveness of same-sex and co-educational programs. Numerous studies have presented competing arguments regarding the effectiveness of these two educational practices (Sadker and Silber 12). The thesis for this paper is that co-educational programs have the potential to support the learning, social, and developmental needs of different students, thus making them successful adults. This essay, therefore, begins by describing the issues associated with these two educational programs. The paper goes further to support the effectiveness of co-educational programs.
Arguments for Same-Sex Education and Co-Education Programs
Thurgood Marshall Elementary “embraced the concept of same-sex education after several years of poor performance” (Sax 34). The new move resulted in better grades. As well, the behavior of the targeted students increased significantly. These new goals were achieved without additional funds or a reduction in class sizes. Similar success stories have been recorded in different institutions after implementing similar programs. Test scores and grades have continued to improve in various schools that use this concept. However, single-sex education programs have continued to produce mixed results. Sax observed that most of the schools recording poor results were characterized by improper staff training methods (35). This is the case because teachers should be aware of every gender-specific tutoring approach.
The other reason why single-sex classrooms can produce good results is that boys and girls tend to have different learning abilities (Sax 35). Sax also argues that girls and boys tend to have different learning capabilities and processes (35). Studies have indicated that “small girls have sharper hearing senses than boys” (Sadker and Silber 19). Such differences will also increase with age. Girls are “sensitive to various things such as voices, colors, instructions, and decisions” (Sax 36). Brain development occurs differently in females and males. For example, boys learn complex subjects such as geometry much faster. Such differences can, therefore, be embraced whenever developing the best curriculum for same-sex classrooms.
However, parents and teachers should make voluntary decisions regarding the issue of single-sex education. This decision will be critical towards supporting the changing educational needs of different children (Smyth 48). This is the case because the current evidence is inadequate to support the advantages of same-sex education.
Co-educational programs are, therefore, effective because there are numerous factors that determine the success of every learning process. Some of these factors include the “quality of the targeted students, the nature of the curricula, and the competence of the teaching fraternity” (Halpern et al. 1706). The authors go further to explain how same-sex education continues to create numerous gender divisions. The move forces children to believe that sex is a uniquely human characteristic that can affect the social position of a person.
Such educational programs can also produce more gender and racial stereotypes. For instance, same-sex learners in a region characterized by a unique racial group will be forced to embrace the power of segregation. The students will develop new thoughts that can eventually promote inequality and prejudice (Halpern et al. 1706). These thoughts can eventually affect the social welfare of the community.
Smyth also argues that same-sex education programs will make it impossible for boys and girls to work as teams (46). The approach will encourage girls to interact with their fellow classmates. They will also promote same-sex practices, attitudes, and behaviors. Chances are also “very high that the individuals will become sex-typed” (Halpern et al. 1707). Co-educational programs have the potential to improve the level of inclusiveness and diversity. Students will achieve the best educational outcomes and establish positive relationships.
Same-sex education is also ineffective because it does not improve intergroup relationships (Halpern et al. 1707). Studies have also indicated that individuals who attend same-sex classrooms will eventually have numerous problems with their relationships. They also record higher levels of divorce. That being the case, most of the funds focusing on gender-based education should be allocated for curriculum development. As well, more studies are needed in order to understand the gaps associated with same-sex educational programs. These gaps should encourage policymakers to embrace the power of co-educational programs in order to produce the best behaviors and practices.
The concept of integration has been observed to produce better relational and interactional outcomes. Learners work as teams in an attempt to get the best test scores (Cable and Spradlin 7). The move is also believed to support the social needs of such individuals once they become adults. They will also complete their duties effectively as employees. They will also find it easier to establish new teams with individuals from various backgrounds.
In conclusion, evidence-based ideas and concepts should be embraced whenever making various education policies. Policymakers and educationists must use scientific evidences and observations to support the needs of every child. The implementation of co-educational programs has the potential to support the needs of both girls and boys (Pahlke, Hyde, and Allison 1058). A good educational program should equip learners with better skills that can support their career goals.
Cable, Kelly and Terry Spradlin. “Single-Sex Education in the 21st century.” Education Policy Brief 6.9 (2008): 1-12. Print.
Halpern, Diane, Lise Eliot, Rebecca Bigler, Richard Fabes, Laura Hanish, Janet Hyde, Lynn Liben and Carol Martin. “The Pseudoscience of Single-Sex Schooling.” Science 333.1 (2011): 1706-1707. Print.
Pahlke, Erin, Janet Hyde and Carlie Allison. “The Effects of Single-Sex Compared With Coeducational Schooling on Students’ Performance and Attitudes: A Meta-Analysis.” Psychological Bulletin 140.4 (2014): 1042-1072. Print.
Sadker, David, and Ellen Silber. Gender in the Classroom: Foundations, Skills, Methods, and Strategies Across the Curriculum, New York: Routledge, 2012. Print.
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Sax, Leonard. “The Promise and Peril of Single-Sex Public Education: Mr. Chips Meets Snoop Dogg.” Education Week 24.25 (2005): 34-45. Print.
Smyth, Emer. “Single-sex Education: What Does Research Tell Us.” Revue française de pédagogie 171.1 (2010): 47-55. Print.