Should public schools offer same-sex classes, where boys and girls are split up and learn in separate classrooms?
It’s become a popular trend. In fact, an estimated 500 public schools across the country offer some all-boy and all-girl classrooms, but it’s a controversial practice. The ACLU is launching a national campaign against it, and threatening to sue schools that offer it. Supporters say it’s an academic game-changer, especially for boys. Since studies show that, compared to girls, boys generally have lower GPAs, lower reading scores, and are much less likely to go to college. That’s why supporters say that customizing classes by gender is a smart move.
For example, some boys’ teachers speak through microphones that electronically adjust the tone of their voice to match the level that research shows holds boys’ attention. Also, before a test, boys-only teachers let them run around the track to burn energy so they can focus better come test-time. Meanwhile, studies show that calming exercises help girls concentrate, so girls-only teachers usually lead a low-key exercise pre-test, like reading or yoga.
But ACLU lawyers blast same-sex classes, and claim they promote negative gender stereotypes, As well as inequality. The American Psychological Association reviewed numerous studies and found no benefit to single-sex education.
Also, critics point out that if boys and girls are separated during schooling, then it’ll be a huge challenge when they enter the real world and suddenly have to communicate, work and compete with the opposite sex for the first time.
So what do you think? Is there anything wrong with separating classes by gender? Do you think boys and girls learn differently? It’s been the norm in private schools for centuries.