There are a surprising number of benefits to single-sex, or single-gender, education.
Separating the educational activities of boys and girls in their formative years can have a profound, positive impact on their development as well as their future career prospects.
As SCH’s Director of Lower School Admissions, I’ll be sharing five benefits of single-sex education to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your child.
What is Single-Sex Education?
Single-sex education, also known as single-gender or gender-tailored education, is the practice of creating learning environments whereboys and girls attend separate classes.
Single-sex classes may be held in the same building, in separate buildings, or you may choose to send your child to an all-girls (or an all-boys) school.
Research has shown
that there are natural differences in learning styles between genders. This is causing an increase in the number of parents who lean towards a single-sex experience.
1. A way to address the gender gap.
Single-sex education helps eliminate gender stereotypes in the classroom.
In single-sex classrooms, girls feel more empowered to speak up and take on leadership roles, while boys explore the value of collaboration and teamwork.
For example, at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH), our fourth grade girls work hard to develop strong leadership and presentation skills by writing, editing, and recording a weekly news broadcast about Lower School.
In addition, both boys and girls feel comfortable gravitating towards “nontraditional” subjects.
Children nurture their passions and strengths without the stress of gender stereotypes hanging over their head.
Girls are encouraged to explore mathematics, coding, and robotics, while boys feel more comfortable participating in the arts and humanities.
Here at SCH, our Lower School boys learn to write and reflect on experiences during Poetry Month and then gift their poems to local stores as a surprise for patrons.
Through books, classroom discussions, and a thoughtfully designed social-emotional curriculum, our youngest learners are exposed to a wide range of roles and opportunities. They learn, for example, that boys can be nurturers, girls can be explorers, and both can be agents for positive change.
2. Creation of a more tailored curriculum.
Single-sex schools are able to tailor their curriculum to the different learning styles of boys and girls.
For example, our Lower and Middle School Boys teachers know that boys thrive in environments where they are allowed the freedom to move and learn physically.
When a teacher understands the different learning styles of boys and girls, their interactions with the student can become tailored to the individual.
SCH’s small classroom sizes also allow teachers the ability to learn, understand, and adapt to each student’s specific learning capabilities in a single-sex environment.
3. Less social pressure.
Single-sex environments can help reduce many of the social pressures associated with going to school.
Some parents choose a single-sex environment to eliminate potential distractions for their child. A student can focus on their assignments without worrying about how they appear in front of the opposite sex.
Removing social pressure also makes the classroom environment more relaxed and dynamic.
Students are free to ask questions, identify challenges, explore solutions, test conceptual boundaries, and devise their own strategies for success—without the fear of embarrassment that may come from asking the wrong question in front of the other gender.
4. Improves the educational achievements of students.
Single-sex schools ultimately are able to improve the educational acheivements of both boys and girls.
Many studies show that students in single-sex classrooms have proven to consistently score higher on standardized tests.
The Harvard Kennedy School
surveyed that girls in single-sex classes obtained better math grades than girls in coeducational classes. In fact, there was an average performance increase of approximately 7–10%.
Here at SCH, we have a 100% graduation rate with many students progressing on to highly ranked colleges and universities.
5. Establishes a strong sense of community.
Single-sex settings not only tailor to the learning style of your child, but also help to establish a strong sense of community.
Boys develop a brotherhood with their peers, uniting each other through common interests, experiences, and challenges. They create bonds and friendships that extend beyond the walls of a classroom.
An all-girls school provides a unique opportunity for young women to form a bond of sisterhood.
Through universal experiences and struggles, girls lift and empower their peers. This gives them a chance to succeed on their own terms, and to help their friends and classmates to do the same.
Why You Should Choose SCH
Here at SCH, children learn in environments that are free from gender stereotypes.
Our Lower School is a supportive, nurturing community for boys and girls in grades Pre-K to 4.
Single-sex classrooms allow us to nurture your child’s passions and strengths, while exploring their interests in a judgment-free environment.
Our curriculum is tailored to your child’s age, gender, and learning style, which allows them to feel comfortable exploring a variety of subjects.
We believe in equipping children with real-world skills that will help them stand out in a highly competitive environment.
For example, our engineering and robotics program combines project-based instruction and playful, competitive challenges to help shape the engineers and scientists of the future.
With over 150 years of tradition, community, and academic excellence behind us, we are proud to offer a superior educational experience that enables our students to lead incredibly fulfilling lives inside and outside the classroom.
Single-sex education has many benefits and can have a profound, positive impact on childhood development—especially for Pre-K to Grade 4 students.
Want to see more of what single-sex education looks like at SCH?