Gender and Co-education

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The ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, said that Co-education creates a feeling of comradeship. He advocated teaching of both the male and female sexes in the same institution without showing any discrimination in imparting education. 'A strong reason for co-education is that separating children for a number of years means they will not be mixing and learning about each other.' - Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. ‘There are no overriding advantages for single-sex schools on educational grounds. Studies all over the world have failed to detect any major differences.' - Professor Alan Smithers, director of education and employment research at the University of Buckingham. ‘Boys' boorishness is tamed by the civilising influence of the girls; girls' cattiness is tamed by the more relaxed approach of the boys. It's a win-win situation.' - Cathedral School parent It s our experience that friendships develop in a very natural way in co-educational schools. This happens because there are so many activities, societies and clubs in the school in which girls and boys take part in a pleasant, well-supervised environment. Friendships develop naturally and genuinely because the mixing is a by-product of the event. This friendly atmosphere continues into the classroom allowing young people to express their views openly and assertively. For both girls and boys co-education provides a more realistic way of training young people to take their places naturally in the wider community of men and women. It helps to break down the misconceptions of each sex about the other and provides an excellent foundation for the development of realistic, meaningful and lasting relationships in later life. A co-educational school is also very successful in challenging sexist attitudes. Many subjects in secondary school allow for considerable classroom discussion and debate. In a...
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