Education is an important part of the society, and the quality of the learning experience directly determines the kind of graduates that are released to the society. The quality of education determines the kind of people that are available for service in various aspects of the community such as employment and leadership. Schools play the most important part of delivering quality education to students from different backgrounds.
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Single-sex and mixed gender schools have both received praise and criticism regarding the delivery of quality education to the students. Numerous arguments have been either supporting or opposing having single-sex and mixed gender schools in the communities. There is a generally mixed feeling about the single-sex schools, and this essay focuses on making a supportive argument to affirm that single-sex schools provide the best quality of education for students. This paper, therefore, outlines the arguments that support the suitability of single-sex schools in delivering quality education over the mixed gender schools.
The counterargument that is supported and forms the basis for the opposition of the same-sex schools it denies students the chance to develop socially and foster healthy relationships in a diverse society. The opponents of same-sex schools argue that students learning amongst colleagues of the same gender prevent them from becoming social people who interact freely with others. The argument is that mixed gender schools teach students to interact with persons of the opposite gender freely and these healthy interactions, in turn, transfer to adulthood where they have healthy relationships and marriages. The counterargument is supported by research findings by Sullivan, Alice et al., p.155, “…for men, there was a statistically significant link between single-sex schooling and divorce.” The findings illustrate that most men from single-sex schools do not have successful marriages because they did not learn to foster healthy relationships with the students of the opposite gender. The argument has outlined that single-sex schools do not create a diverse environment that would foster learning about healthy interactions with people of the opposite gender hence leading to the students having failed relationships and marriages in adulthood. The lack of the opportunity for students of opposite genders has formed the basis for the counterargument that opposes the creation of single-sex schools.
The major supporting points that this essay focuses on to affirm that the single-sex schools are the most suitable in providing high-quality education include an increased concentration in school, high level of privacy and confidence during puberty, encourages breaking down stereotypes and encourages the use of most suitable gender-specific teaching techniques. One of the benefits of single-sex schools is that they boost the learning process by ensuring that there is a high level of concentration among the students. The mixed gender schools mostly create distractions among the students who are mainly going through the adolescence stage and are getting interested and attracted to the opposite genders more. The increased interest in the opposite gender means that the students focus their time and energy on impressing the classmates of the opposite sex and get distracted from learning and understanding various concepts in class. The same-sex schools are beneficial to the learning process because the students are not distracted since all classmates are of the same gender and the time that the boys would have used to impress girls, or the girls would have used to make the boys notice them, is all channeled towards learning and understanding various concepts in class.
Secondly, single-sex schools offer better education because they help break down the stereotypes that are common in the learning institutions. In the mixed-gender schools, boys and girls feel uncomfortable to express themselves because there are stereotypes that limit them to doing activities or taking subjects that are considered male-only or female-only activities. In mixed schools, there are subjects that boys are not expected to take such as art subjects that involve catering and cooking, whereas girls are not expected to take science subjects such as Physics and Engineering courses. In single-sex schools, the students have a sense of freedom and independence to undertake activities and subjects they are comfortable to do without the stereotypes of taking what is not meant for their gender. This pro-single-sex schools argument is supported by the research findings of Smyth, Emer. p.50, “we might expect to see differences in the take-up of traditionally “male” or “female” subjects across school sectors.” Students in single-sex schools are free to make subject choices they desire because there are no stereotypes attached to taking any subjects.
Another argument that supports single-sex schools as better providers of quality education is that they help to build the confidence of the students in adolescence. Puberty is a sensitive stage where children undergo physical, hormonal, and mental development. The changes during adolescence cause psychological issues such as low self-esteem. The single-sex schools help the students to focus on school and remain confident in the midst of the bodily changes because they easily understand each other and confide in each other during challenging times. The mixed gender schools, on the other hand, challenge the students’ self-esteem because the opposite genders do not understand the changes that are taking place in each other and, therefore, students might ridicule the physical changes in both boys and girls. The single-sex schools contribute to high self-esteem in girls who do not have to go out of their way to impress the boys or feel embarrassed by the changes their bodies go through (Guglielmi, p.16). The single-sex schools help to build confidence and self-esteem of students who interact with each other and understand the common challenges they face either in academics or other social aspects.
Another argument that supports that single-sex schools provide better education is that they facilitate the use of gender-specific teaching techniques that boost understanding. Girls and boys have different traits and capabilities that make a common system of teaching for both genders unsuitable. Boys have a higher physical activity level coupled with poor self-control while girls have higher verbal skills coupled with empathy (Chadwell). The single-sex schools make it easier for teachers to adopt teaching techniques that are suitable for either gender. The students in single-sex schools would, therefore, feel free to interact with the teaching staff and understand various concepts easily because the teaching mechanism incorporates gender-specific traits in designing the learning process. Mixed gender schools would not address the gender-specific traits that make the learning process for boys different from the learning process of girls. Students of single-sex schools would, therefore, get a better education because the teaching approaches that are used focus on gender-specific traits and strengths.
The arguments that support single-sex schools as better providers of quality education to students outweigh the effects of the challenge that is fronted by the opponents of the argument. The benefits of single-sex schools include the elimination of distractions that students in mixed schools are exposed to, building students’ self-esteem, improve students’ learning experience, and breaking down gender stereotypes in schools. The counterargument that opposes the single-sex schools is that the schools deny students the chance to interact with people of opposite gender and this results in poor relationships and high divorce rates in adulthood. The benefits of this essay to the reader are that it enlightens the reader on the advantages of the single-sex schools, identify the gender-specific benefits that single-sex schools have over the mixed-gender schools, and affirm that single-sex schools are better despite the shortcoming that is fronted opponents of having the single-sex schools. The government, parents, and other stakeholders in the education sector should, therefore, put more focus on single-sex schools because of their numerous benefits to the provision of quality education.
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