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ERIC Number: EJ982362
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-May
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0036-6439
The Promise of Single-Sex Classes
Stotsky, Sandra
School Administrator, v69 n5 p32-35 May 2012
Despite the enthusiasm and the absence of definitive research on the pros and cons of single-sex classes, a 2011 article in Science, titled "The Pseudoscience of Single-Sex Schooling," by a new organization called American Council for CoEducational Schooling (ACCES) came out with the astonishing conclusion that single-sex education is ineffective and possibly dangerous. The authors of the said article reported no new research. They reviewed existing studies and used them to claim they proved their case. A report the author and two colleagues wrote about two elementary schools in Arkansas they had studied through site visits in 2008-2009 contained no red flags. The goal of their research was to find out whether single-sex classes in these two elementary schools seemed to make a difference in boys' reading achievement. In addition to visiting classes, the author talked with the principals, teachers and a few parents and students to learn more about the dynamics of single-sex classes and the changes in pedagogy they may lead to. The teachers, parents and principals agreed that single-sex classes seem to provide less distraction for both sexes, better accommodation of each sex's interests, better learning environment for shy or quiet children, more opportunity to use examples for academic concepts and class readings tailored to each sex and more opportunity for leadership skills of each sex to emerge. On the other hand, a few teachers and parents perceived them as causing girls to become chattier and boys less polite and too competitive. Thus it would be desirable to gather data on both academic achievement and social behaviors in children who have been in single-sex classes for more than one year. Based on her study, the author questions why some want to ban the practice before key questions are studied.
American Association of School Administrators. 801 North Quincy Street Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22203-1730. Tel: 703-528-0700; Fax: 703-841-1543; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas