SINGLE GENDER SECONDARY CLASSES Jeremy Robertson and Chris Chandler “There should not be any obstacle to providing single-sex choice within the public school system...We have to look at the achievements of [single-sex] schools that are springing up around the country. We know this has energized students and parents. We could use more schools such as this.” -Hillary Clinton Introduction to Secondary Single Gender Classes • In secondary schools, students are mainly benefitted socially and behaviorally in single gender classrooms. • It especially helpful towards students in PE, math, science, and language arts classes. • These classes can remove classroom distractions. • Boys need more structure while connection is more important for girls. Benefits • Students show some academic achievement. • It allows for differences in learning styles. • These classes help students socially and behaviorally. • It can reduce the overrepresentation of boys in special education classes. Benefits • Can benefit boys in language arts classes and girls in math and science classes • Students gain self-confidence in those subjects. • It allows more opportunity for participation. • Environmental needs could be meet more easily • Room Temperature • Classroom setup Concerns • There is not enough evidence that achievement for all groups of students increases. • These classes can be detrimental if it is not supported by appropriate professional development. • Gender differences are not the same across the board. • It limits the ability to work cooperatively with the opposite sex. • There is a bigger gap between racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups than the genders. Federal Guidelines 1. Ensure single-sex classes and schools are “substantially related” to achieving the important educational objective(s) for implementing the program. 2. Ensure participation in single-sex classes or schools is voluntary. 3. Offer single-sex schools or programs in an “evenhanded manner.” Federal Guidelines Continued 4. Offer a “substantially equal” coeducational class to all students. The Department of Education suggests using these factors to determine whether the program is substantially equal: 1. policies and criteria of admission 2. educational benefits provided 3. qualifications of faculty 4. geographic accessibility 5. quality, accessibility and availability of facilities and resources provided to the class 6. reputation of faculty 7. the quality and range of extracurricular. 5. Conduct periodic evaluations. How to provide structure for boys • List directions in bullet format on the board • Provide a time frame for completing all steps, or even each step. • Define specifically how they want students to prepare for tests. • Require specific steps to study such as making vocabulary flash cards the first night, sketching key concepts the second night, and making their own questions the third night. How to provide connection for girls • Connections should be between themselves and the content. • Build in more cycles where students voice their opinion about content • Make comparisons between content and their own experience • Use manipulatives or real objects to explore concepts. Works Cited • Piechura-Couture, K., Heins, E., & Tichenor, M. (2011). The Boy Factor: Can Single-Gender Classes Reduce the OverRepresentation of Boys in Special Education?. Journal Of Instructional Psychology, 38(4), 255-263. • Kessels, U., & Hannover, B. (2008). When being a girl matters less: Accessibility of gender-related self-knowledge in singlesex and coeducational classes and its impact on students' physics-related self-concept of ability. British Journal Of Educational Psychology, 78(2), 273-289. • Hannon, J. C., & Ratliffe, T. (2007). Opportunities to Participate and Teacher Interactions in Coed versus Single-Gender Physical Education Settings. Physical Educator, 64(1), 11-20 • "Membership." Single-Gender Classes Can Respond to the Needs of Boys and Girls. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2012. <http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol5/512-newvoices.aspx>.