ERIC Number: EJ1130821
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
When "Separate" May Be Better: Exploring Single-Sex Learning as a Remedy for Social Anxieties in Female Middle School Students
Hart, Laura C.
Middle School Journal, v47 n2 p32-40 2016
Research on the overall effectiveness of single-sex education remains inconclusive; however, some research does indicate that benefits other than academic achievement may be possible with a single-sex format. Advocates argue that when single-sex environments are structured by not only separating boys and girls but also by leveraging gender-specific learning strategies, positive outcomes are more likely. This may be of particular significance for middle-school girls, who often struggle with social anxieties related to adolescence that create barriers in transitioning to and navigating the middle school environment. As issues for middle-school girls are often unique to their gender, single-sex education emerges as a possible remedy to these problems. This study used qualitative data collected over a three-year period at a single-school site. Participant responses consistently showed that 6th grade girls placed in a single-sex classroom found the setting to be more supportive than a traditional mixed-sex classroom. Emerging themes included perceived improvement of academic performance and increased focus and engagement. Overall results indicated that for middle school females, participation in single-sex programs can help in easing social anxieties girls may experience while in middle school.
Descriptors: Single Sex Classes, Middle School Students, Females, Anxiety, Early Adolescents, Barriers, Gender Issues, Grade 6, Coeducation, Student Attitudes, Qualitative Research, Program Development, Observation, Interviews, Teacher Attitudes, Educational Environment, Achievement Gains, Learner Engagement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; Grade 6; Intermediate Grades; Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A