Single Sex Education – Making a Comeback

So in the WSJ’s Juggle and the New York Times articles on the increase in single sex education in public schools.  Whole schools are dividing the boys and the girls, and apparently the parents as well.  Educational proponents say that single sex educational allows children to learn without the pressures of showing off to the opposite sex.  Apparently flirting is not so good for learning.  And girls who learn in single sex environments show more of an interest in math and science subjects, while boys show more of an interest in the softer subjects like art than either gender would in a co-ed environment.

Opponents say that dividing the sexes doesn’t set kids up for the real world where we all really do have to learn to play along.  Some parents also worry that an all boys environment will create more aggressive boys.

I went to an all women’s college that was well integrated with a co-ed college across the street.  Many of first year classes were small, all women and there was never any fear of speaking up in front of the boys.  And  there was no worry about dressing up.   Later on, classes both big and small became more integrated and there were plenty of opportunities to mingle both socially and professionally.  Was this set up a benefit to me as a professional – you bet – when I feel like I know my subject, I have no problem speaking up – I tend to stay quiet if I am not sure what I am talking about!  What do you think about splitting the kids up – especially on your dime in the public schools? 

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