University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Single sex schools
It is an investigation into single sex schools and their effect on discipline, academic performance, and attendance frequency for first and second grade public school students. Single sex schools refer to class attendance with students of one sex. The participants of this research will include first and second grade school students and their respective teachers. An exploratory research design will be used where questionnaires will be administered.
Single Sex School
Introduction to the Problem
The issue is crucial while there is not enough research available to justify implementation of single sex schools. According to the newly implemented mandate regulation No Child Left Behind, innovative instructional strategies must be research based. It is significant to conduct a deep research of the problem as the impact of single sex education in public schools is unknown. Reported Outcomes of Single Sex Education
In a number of several recent studies, the comparisons between single sex education and coeducation system have received a lot of attention. Students have been evidenced to have higher achievements and higher educational aspirations in single sex schools as compared to their counterparts in coeducation systems. Interestingly, some of these researches indicate that girls faired well in single sex systems as opposed to boys who were found to be doing better in coeducation systems. In addition to this, most of them indicate that girls performed best in overall aspects as compared to boys in single sex schools (Lee & Lockheed, 2000).
In the British journal on educational psychology, it is reported that girls in a single sex school are considerably enhanced to engage well in the subject of physics. In this research, the researchers assigned a number of eighth graders to either a single gender class of physics or to a coeducation class of physics for a sole school year. Towards the end of that year, the girls who were assigned randomly to an all girl class were found to be more engaged in physics. This statement clearly indicates that the girls in this case performed better than their counterparts (Hannover, 2008). Teachers in single sex classes can create opportunities that never exist in coeducation classes. They have the luxury to employ strategies that do not work excellent in coeducation systems in singe sex classes. With the appropriate training and professional development of teachers, extraordinary things happen in the single sex educational institutions. In the United States, some schools have reported tremendous improvement in test scores and grades of students after the adoption of a single sex streams. They did better than simply separating boys and girls. In most of these of schools, teachers had passed training in gender practical classrooms strategies and best practices on gender specific practices (NASSPE, n.d). In Cambridge University, the research study done showed that separation of children in some subjects helps boys to concentrate and thus improve their grades. It also showed that girls consistently scored in examinations higher than boys.
The researchers indicated that most of the girls and boys felt at ease in classes of this nature, and they felt abler while learning, showed interest with no inhibition, and more likely tended to achieve higher results. However, there were problems experienced in single sex schools as highlighted. One of the problems lies in the fact that some boys developed cohorts, which alienated them from the rest of the class. Nevertheless, in overall, the academics conclude that there is evidence in favor of development of single sex classes in some of the subjects or the whole school. David Milliband who was a minister responsible for education has backed the idea of single sex schools. In the same department, the ministry representative indicates that there are policies addressing this gender gap (BBC news, 2005). Hypotheses
H1: There will be a significant effect on the performance of children as a result of studying in single sex schools. H2: There will be no significant effect on the performance of children as a result of the adoption of single sex schools.
In this chapter, the literature concerning single sex education and single sex classes is reviewed. Because of the limited research data on single sex education in public schools, peer reviewed journals, non-referred journals, university papers, government research projects, and books are used in this literature review. Single Sex Education
Single sex education in public schools focuses on the achievements and risks of the students, gender differences in learning, questions as to whether there are any benefits associated with single sex education to boys or girls or even both of them (Salomone, 2003). Recently, a lot of attention has been directed to single sex education in the United States. In their research, Singh, et al. compare urban single sex education and coeducation maintained that persistent questions remain on the view of coeducation system as the only viable option for students despite its long history (Singh, Vaught, & Mitchel, July 2007). The first group maintains that single sex school is the best while the other says that coeducation systems are the best. However, there are times when single sex ones offer the best solution, the third one believes that single sex schools are the best for some students while the last one believes that the only way to attain maximum outcomes in learning is through single sex schools (Bracey, 2007). History of Single Sex Education
When evaluating the performance of single sex education students, it is vital to analyze the background and progression of single sex education in the United States. Tyack and Hansot (1992) in their book Learning Together present a comprehensive history of societal among other factors that had an impact on the evolution of single sex education to coeducation. Bracey contends that improved formal education used to be single sex with public schools. These schools evolved from single states formats to coeducation systems late in the 19th century (Bracey, 2007). With the development and growth of communities, a corresponding growth was also experienced in the private and primary coeducational schools. Political, religious coupled this in most occasions, and even public funding moves on the academic abilities of women. In the 19th century, economic factors, behavioral concerns, and political issues determined the development of coeducation systems. Many communities were seeking an economy scale that was merging genders into common schools. Girls were admitted into public schools only as a mechanism of saving and the intention of tempering the rough behavior associated with boys.
The goal of the movement to common coeducational public schools was aimed to train the rising generation on morality, basic skills and citizenship (Salomone, 2003). The majority of single sex schools in the United States ended with Title sex Education Amendment of 1972. This amendment abolished discrimination in regards to gender in all schools that are funded by the federal government. In this instance, the single sex classes or schools could not be created except in the rare case or in situations where the objective is to remedy such discrimination. In the early 1990s, the questions on the equality of educational opportunities afforded for girls began to emerge. A report in 1992 was published by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) showing a lag in the scores and achievements among girls. The report indicates a loss in interest mostly in sciences and math classes in the middle level schools. In their study, Sadker and Sadker (1994) found that teachers mostly called boys in a more frequent manner than girls; thus, boys received a more attention from teachers than girls did. Equity in these programs began to be examined as these issues and concerns began to be brought forward. There also arose discussions as to whether single sex education would be more beneficial to students in public schools (Sadker & Sadker, 1994). Legislation and Laws
Legal decisions in the United States have had an impact on single sex education. The opponents of single sex education view it as placing girls in a pre-Brown era while proponents view it as giving to both boys and girls an opportunity to realize their academic opportunities. The passing of Title IX in 1972 virtually abolished single sex education in the U.S. and perceived it to be unlawful to create new single sex schools except in rare cases. Female students for equal education (Riordan, 1990) viewed the passing of this title as a response to agitation. However, some court cases have come to reprieve this by stating that an all male high school can exist as long as there is a corresponding all female school. This was exemplified by the case of Vorcheimer verse school district of Philadelphia (Salomone, 2006).
In 2001, the congress passed a law as a part of No Child Left Behind for the use of federal funds in innovative programs including same gender schools (Cooper, 2006). Single Sex Education Research
Currently, single sex education is gaining support as an innovation instructional strategy. However, there are limited data on the effectiveness of the single sex classes’ strategies as an instructional strategy in improving academic achievement. Recent research strategies are driven by suggested use of research-based strategies that aim to improve the performance of the students of the national foundation for education research in England commissioned a research study on the influence of school type and size (single sex and coeducation system). The foundation studied 2954 high schools throughout the England where single sex schools are widely present. The report illustarted that even after controlling student’s capability and other background factors, both girls and boys perform better in single sex schools than in coeducation systems. The benefits were found to be larger in senior high schools and more consistent with girls, as opposed to boys. The research further indicated that benefits were predominant in the lower levels of schools for boys (Shmurak, 1998).
The research further indicated that girls who at single sex schools were likely to take non-traditional courses. That is they ran against well-known stereotypes such as advanced math and physics have. In addition to this, single sex schools help in countering rather than reinforcing the differences between girls’ subjects, such as languages, and boys’ subjects, such as physics and math’s (NFER, 2002). A comparison of education performances in single sex schools and coeducation schools was done by a research commissioned by Australian Council for Education Research. The analysis was based on a six-year study of 27000 schools in 53 academic subjects. This study demonstrated that the performance of boys and girls in single sex schools was relatively higher compared to those of coeducational systems (Fraser, 1972).
The report documents that students in these institutions were found to be more disciplined. Moreover, the students found learning more enjoyable and realized the relevancy of the curricula.. In conclusion, the report suggests that there is evidence suggesting that co educational settings have limitations in their capacity to accommodate the massive variations in cognitive, social and developmental stages of boys and girls in the age groups from 12 to 16 (ACER, 2005). There have been many critics on single sex education presenting the argument that these schools are mostly for affluent families. They further suggest that the best performance of these students may be partially explained by their higher social economic status from where these students are recruited rather than the single stream nature of the schools. This has been dispensed by the ACER study reported above as, well as the education foundation research. Dean (1998) has shown that girls who attend single sex Catholic schools mainly come from low social economic backgrounds than those who attend the coeducation systems.
Further Dean found no differences regarding the social economic status of boys. According to Dean, the British office for standards in education found that the superior performances of students in single sex schools is not due to their social economic backgrounds but purely due to the single sex nature of the schools. Furthermore, Dean highlighted that single sex school students encompass a more positive attitude towards education (Dean, 1998). The Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study is to evaluate single sex classes’ performance in public basic schools in the southern section of the USA Research Design
This exploratory research will take a qualitative research design. This research will allow the researcher to be closer to the participants and at the same time, gain persona knowledge concerning the participants (Steedman, 1983). A qualitative research method uses a small number of subjects thus facilitating in depth study of issues and providing detailed information in regards to the sample. Quasi-experimental form of non equivalent group design where a single sex group is studied in comparison to coeducational groups, which involve single sex students, males, and females, will be studied. Data Analysis
SPSS will be used to analyze the archival data. Inferential and descriptive data will be analyzed using averages, means and percentages.
Limitation to Research
Only one school will be used, instructional methods have no control, and there is no control on gender diversity, experience of teachers, and their expertise; moreover, either outside factors cannot be controlled. All the aforementioned issues amount to limitations to the research. Data Source
Data will be sourced from archives on data collected in 2008 – 2009. These data will be provided after the approval of IRB. The data will also be used for math and art based subjects test data, discipline cases data, and attendance data. Research Questions
RQ will address math achievements, art based subjects achievements, discipline referral frequency, and attendance frequency. These are some of the questions: What performance in terms of scores show girls and boys in the subjects of math and art based courses? What s the level of attendance of girls or boys or both of them in the school? What is the rate of discipline among boys and girls or both of them in the school? These questions will be administered to the principals of the schools either in a single sex stream school or a coeducation system school. The questions will further be analyzing the responses in terms of both the genders and in regard to the different and, in particular, lower grade learners. They are as follows: Is there any difference in math attainment of first and second grade weighed against the math attainment of first grade, single sex student, male, female coeducational? Is there any difference in art based subjects in comparison with the language achievement for lower grades, single sex student, male, female coeducational?
Multiple assessment programs will be used. Automated, analytical and criterion based questionnaires will be overseen by teachers responsible for the subjects. The questionnaire will consist of closed and open ended questions. Academic Achievements Data Analysis
A repeated measure ANOVA will be used. This measure will be used to determine whether there is a variation in the academic result variables among single sex students, male, female, and coeducational. Significance of the Study
Due to scanty information available on the impacts of singe sex schools on the performance of children, this research will be contributing in availing information on the impacts of these systems. The focus of the study will be mainly on lower grades and, therefore, policy formulators can have and empirical data on expected outcomes incase of adoption of any format of school.
The key intention of this research is to investigate the perceptions of single sex education in public elementary schools. Careful literature analysis will determine whether there are any beneficial contributions of single sex schools. In specific measures, there have been an increase in the number of single sex schools, and this is corresponded with a limited amount of research that is available regarding this topic in public elementary schools indicating a need for further research (Bednall, 1995). Single sex education has been on the rise especially after the repeal of the controversial legislation that had banned public schools funded by the federal government from discriminating children based on their gender. The legislation highlights the need for a research to inform the stakeholders on the merits of single sex education in comparison to the coeducation system. The literature available indicates that there are many benefits associated with single sex education.
The Australian Council on Education Research indicates that students in single sex educational institutions perform better than their counter parts in coeducation systems (Bird, 1985). However, these benefits are more prevalent in girls’ behavior than in boys’. Coupled with the Foundation of education in England, there is an agreement that girls in single sex schools or classes are performing better in subjects which are considered to be more popular among boys. It is indicative that boys in such schools are more likely to choose subjects that are more seen as for girls, such as home sciences. However, there are not enough conclusive researches on these aspects, and thus there is a need for additional research on the impacts of single sex education. In addition to this, there is a need to weigh out the benefits of these two systems before formulation of policies (Ferri, 1997).
ACER. (2005). A comparison of single sex and co educational education systems.
Retrieved from Ausralian Coucil for Education Research http://web.archive.org/web/20040220135156/http://www.acer.edu.au/news/MR_pages/MR_singlesexschools+20.04.00.html BBC news. (May 29, 2005). Separate class needed for boys’. Retrieved from BBC NEWS http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/cambridgeshire/4591653.stm Bednall, J. (1995). Teaching boys to become “gender bi-lingual” : A challenge to single sex schools. Hunting Valley, OH: University School Press. Bird, M. (1985). Equal opportunities in the curriculum in single sex schools. London: Research and Statistics, InnerEducation Authority. Bracey, G. W. (2007). The success of single sex eduction is still unproven: the education digest. New York, NY: Proquest database. Cooper, K. (2006). “Scholars debate effective of single sex classes”. Diverse Issues in Igher Education , 14- 16. Dean, C. (1998). Inspector says girls school are best. New York, NY: Times Education Supplement. Ferri, J. (1997). Do Single Sex Schools Matter? : Further Evidence on The Effect of School Quality. Valencia : Universidad de Valencia. Fraser, S. (1972). Sex, schools, & society; international perspectives. New York, NY: Nashville, Peabody International Center, George Peabody College for Teachers. Hannover, B., & Kessels, U. (2008). “When being a girl matters less: accessibility of gender related self knowledge in single sex and co educational classes and its impact on physics related self concept of ability.” British Journal of Educational Psychology vol. 78 , 273 – 289. Lee, V. E., & Lockheed, M. E. (2000). “The effect of single sex schooling on achievement and attitudes in nigeria.” Chicaago journals , 2-4. NASSPE. (n.d). Single-Sex vs. Coed: The Evidence . Retrieved from National Association for Single Sex in Public Education http://www.singlesexschools.org/research-singlesexvscoed.htm NFER. (July, 2002). Single sex vs Coed. Retrieved from National Foundation on Education Research http://www.singlesexschools.org/NFER.pdf Riordan, C. (1990). GIrls and boys in school together: Together or separate? New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Sadker, M., & Sadker D. (1994). Failing at fairness. New York, NY: Touchstone, Simon and Schuster. Salomone, R. C. (2006). Single sex programs: resolving: resolving the research conundurum . New York, NY: