It would be greatly appreciated if someone could edit this for me. I need this for an assignment for English. Any comments would be great. Thank you.
Professor Lisa Moore
4 April 2015Risks and Benefits of Single-Sex Schools
I believe that children who attend a single-sex school have less of an advantage of learning how to properly socialize with the opposite sex because they are being less exposed to how the real world works compared to students who attend a coed school. Single sex-schools are not preparing them for the college or work environment and are causing one gender to feel more timid around the other. Today, in the year of 2015, it is to be said that there are over 500 public schools in the United States who are now offering single-sex education (Hollingsworth). There has been a clear debate about whether or not children learn and focus better in a single sex or a coed school. Parents are choosing single-sex schools over coed schools because they fear that their children are not getting the attention they need from teachers, while also becoming too distracted from the opposite sex (A Summary of Research on the Benefits of Single Sex Education). My research will be including the different views from society, mostly parents, as to why there is a strong belief that one education seems to be better than the other.
I believe that communication is the key to success and communicating with the opposite sex is an important skill for everyone to develop. The more we practice, the better we get at it, there is nothing wrong with too much communication. Learning how to look and sound professional is a very significant element of our life's because to get anywhere in the working field, you have to be presentable and talkative to whomever speaks to you. Single-sex schools fail to prepare their students to properly communicate by making them believe that the world is separated by genders. It will ultimately result in weakening the student's chances to succeed in college and work environments. The less exposed they are to each other can also potentially cause one gender to feel timid around the other because they are unaware of the other's behavioral traits. Without that daily interaction, it will make them feel embarrassed to speak to one another because it's something they have not become accustomed to. It's the same thing when you and a friend slowly stop talking more and more, and then the more you feel uncomfortable around them to talk because you're not used to talking every day. Well that's exactly what kids from single-sex schools probably feel like except even worse because they probably hardly ever talk to the other gender being that they are stuck in a school with their own sex all day. What people are failing to realize, is that single-sex schools are supporting a fantasy that does not exist. The world does not consist of only one gender all the time, but of both, and it's setting children up to believe that college and careers will be built upon the same atmosphere. More importantly, reality involves being around both genders every day, while also interacting with each other on a daily basis.
Teachers and parents need to realize that attending a single or coed school does not make one student smarter than the other. That is a false judgment that has not been proven to be true. Parents seem to believe that single-sex schools eventually bring in better test results because the children are more focused on excelling in school, rather than wondering about each other. It has not been proven that single-sex education is better than coed when it comes to the grades and testing results (Newberg). In fact, studies show that there is almost no difference between the two. An even bigger discussion that is being considered is whether or not separating boys and girls actually helps them focus more on their school work. Yes, sometimes boys and girls can be a distraction to each other, but not enough to completely separate them by schools. It's unavoidable to make sure that your child doesn't come in contact with the opposite sex because it is human nature. Boys and girls are meant to connect with each other because that's how new people become a part of this world (Finlay). It has actually been observed and proven that boys and girls mostly inspire each other to do better and learn from one another, which can be extremely beneficial to their futures. Not only does it help their social skills with both genders, but it also will help them learn to feel comfortable and confident without any hesitation because they are familiar with it. To sum it all up, coed and single-sex schools show the same grade results and coed schools are better examples on teaching their students how to balance distraction with school work.
One of the benefits of learning in a single-sex school is that teachers learn how to speak accordingly to the gender they are teaching. Parent's love the special attention their child is getting because distinctive teaching methods can occur when teaching for a one gender school. For instance, females benefit more when they are spoken to in a calming voice because it helps them accomplish more (Gender Segregation: Separate but Effective?). Teachers who only teach females, are taught certain ways to teach, so that their students can advance as much as possible, and if that means they have to speak a certain way to benefit their student, then they do it. Guys on the other hand, benefit more when they are being spoken to in an aggressive and loud voice, because it also helps them progress more when it comes to school work (Gender Segregation: Separate but Effective?). I am not sure if that has actually been proven to be true, but it is a pattern they have noticed. It is possible for teachers to speak in both tones for a kid to obtain good grades because it is being done every day in coed schools. People are looking too much into that and are automatically believing that a tone of voice really makes drastic changes in their testing outcomes. I don't believe that certain tones only apply to that gender. It shouldn't matter if you're a boy or a girl, it matters off of the child's personality and character. Maybe tom girls like being spoken to loudly and aggressively because they have more of a tough charisma. Or maybe feminine guys who are in touch with their emotions like being spoken to calmly. Everyone is different, and just because you're labeled as a guy or a girl doesn't necessarily mean one teaching method is the way to go.
As we all know, coed students don't get that type of special attention from teachers. Instead, they get the best of both worlds and get to experience being spoken to in both tones. Teachers who teach for coed students learn their own teaching methods that will benefit their students, and personally, it's a much better one. They aren't stuck to just one way of teaching, they branch off to try new ideas to help the kids succeed, and from experience, it helped me so much because I got to explore all these new ways of learning, and some helped, while others didn't. That was ok with me though, because at least I was able to pick which way helped me more, weather it was loud and aggressive or soft and calm. Coed schools are aware that they need to teach their students to adapt to being spoken to in both voices, which helps them comprehend how being out in the real world works. Meanwhile, single-sex students are stuck to only one voice, one tone and one teaching method.
As we all know by now, communication is very important with anyone, and future relationships can be easily ruined when attending a single-sex school their whole lives (Saunders). Due to no interaction with the opposite sex, it can be crucial to future friendships and relationships because they have absolutely no idea what it's like to associate with one another. I could not imagine coming out of a sing-sex school, and then trying to befriend the other gender because I would have no idea how to. Even for people who attend coed schools can be shy when it comes to the other gender, so I can't imagine trying to get enough courage to speak to guy after I've been around females all my childhood. It has been said that one gender can feel less important and see the other as more dominant because they are so used to being with their own gender (Saunders). It can also make one gender feel less equal to the other, and studies show that it's typically females who feel this. A lot of guys can be pretty obnoxious and loud, and girls are usually opposite of that, so it can be a little intimidating at first for a girl to try and get used to that without it being awkward, which usually, it is. Communication skills are developed at a very young age, and school is the place that most kids tend to form special bonds and really learn what it's like to become friends with both males and females. Coed schools are the ones who are more realistic when teaching students to communicate because it involves both genders, just like the real world. Whereas single-sex schools only teach students to communicate with their own gender, and fail to acknowledge that one day, they will have to be involved with each other.
A lot of scientist and parents used to, and still believe, that the reason why boys and girls do better in school when they are separated is because their brains have a completely different way of working (Kennedy). It has now been proven that there is no difference, the only difference is that they learn better when spoken to in different tones, but that's about it. Apparently the tone and teaching method makes a huge difference in their grades and that is why more parents are choosing to go that route. It seems to me that parents these days find it less important to prepare their children for the coed environments, for example, college. Sometimes I wonder if parents even think about college when they are making this decision. They have to know that by putting them with their own gender all the time is going to get them used to that, and when college time comes, they are going to have another thing coming to them if they think it will be anything like middle or high school. College is the real deal, and parents are no longer in charge of their child's decisions. If anything, I would think the kid would end up rebelling during their college life because in a way, they are finally free to do what they way, and because they missed out on doing that in high school, they will take advantage of their college years. The parents are the only ones to blame for this because that rebelling stage should of happened in high school like most kids do, so that they can properly focus on college when it actually counts because it is not a free education anymore.
What should be more important to parents is making sure their child succeeds in life, and by doing so, they should encourage their child to communicate with the opposite sex to prepare them for situations they haven't dealt with before. College is full of unexpected surprises, and everyone has to deal with things they haven't dealt with before. So imaging someone coming straight out of a single-sex school to a coed college, I could imagine that they will have to deal with so many more difficulties. I know for some parents it can be a scary thought to know their kid is growing up, and by that, I mean talking and hanging out with the opposite sex, but they would be doing their kid a favor if they just accepted it and focus on teaching them right from wrong. All a parent can really do is preach to them their best advice, and hope they taught their child enough to make smart choices. Trying to force is will only do harm to both the child and even the parent. The fear that parents feel of their child communicating with the opposite sex should be aimed more towards their child not being comfortable enough to speak to the other gender. Hence, they should actually want their child to be able to communicate with whoever comes their way.
After calling my parents close friends who have children attending single-sex schools, I got some pretty good answers out of them as to why they chose this specific education. Religion played a huge part in their decision because they believe that abstinence is extremely important before marriage, and they didn't want that to get jeopardized by placing them in a coed school. They believed that separating them from the opposite sex would prevent any type of bad situation or bad decisions regarding sexual intercourse. Amy, which is the mother also said that she has gathered multiple research stating that boys and girls learn better when they are separated and said that it's like the saying, "out of sight, out of mind". They also let me know that their kids actually like it, and that church has given them the opportunity to communicate with other children, mostly talking about the opposite sex. Amy said she was aware that the real world consists of both genders, but she truly believes that it's not harming her kids because they still get that interaction at church. Her and her husband said that church was a way for their kids to form friendships of the opposite sex and that was their way of making sure their kids didn't feel any different from kids who attend a coed school.
I have to say, that after interviewing Amy and her husband, I was glad they didn't take it personal, or look at it as if I was attacking them. After hearing everything they had to say about this, I formed some thoughts of my own. I understand that the main reason they chose to put their children in a single-sex school is because of their religion, which is fine, but it sounded like they were saying that kids who attend a coed school are bound to break that abstinence. There are many kids out there who go to coed schools and have still kept that purity. Even children who attend single-sex schools can still be involved in intercourse, it doesn't automatically keep them away from it, or stop them from thinking it. All kids get curious at some point no matter what education they are in, and I thought it was a little judgmental for Amy and her husband to assume that. I somewhat had a feeling that it has something to do with their own past as a kid, and they didn't want their children to follow in their footsteps. The whole "out of sight, out of mind" thing she said was a little foolish. That's definitely not true, maybe for the moment, but not all the time. Boys and girls will always be curious about one another, and just because you separate them by schools definitely doesn't mean the curiosity stops. I was glad to hear that she said she was aware her kids needed that communication, and that they try and keep them involved with church groups. I did my best to explain my thought process on it, and we agreed to disagree, which is fine because I have to realize that not everyone will be on the same page. However, I do plan to change at least one parent's perspective, and if I accomplished that by writing this essay, then I have done my job.
I hope that this could possibly help persuade parents that they are setting their child up for failure. All parents want the best for their kids, and although we might not all agree on what that might be, I hope that people at least see where I am coming from. My focus was to convince parents that it's okay for their children to make mistakes and mess up a little bit. We all end up learning from it, and a child shouldn't miss out on the experiences of interacting with the opposite sex. Of course education is very important for every child, but not as important as love, friendships and a career's. All of those consist of both genders and a coed school helps a child build that confidence to be able to work with the opposite sex and to gain friendships. I also hope that after reading this, parents realize that one education does not make a child better than the other because they are just as equally smart. I cannot stress enough that a single-sex school will eventually in some parts, affect them in their futures because it has already been proven that their communication skills have been decreased. The way a child grows up, indicates how they will be as an adult and I would hate to see a child not succeed to the potential they could have if they attended a coed school. In the end, coed schools opens so many more doors for success, while single-sex schools are taking that advantage away, and I'm hoping to see more parents choose coed education for their child's benefit.