Some evidence has suggested that boys in mixed schools performed better academically, as they are encouraged not to 'mess around' by their more responsible female classmates - but obviously this is a generalisation and might prove different in specific schools and even in particular classrooms. Some proponents of mixed schools claim these schools have a better atmosphere, since they are neither too 'bitchy', as can occur when a group of girls are working and studying together, not too aggressive, which can occur when boys are exclusively working and studying together. Some critics of single sex schooling claim that the environment of these schools is artificial and hinders students’ development of social skills. The teenage years are known for being important periods of development and those who oppose single sex schools believe that this type of education makes it harder for children to naturally relate to members of the opposite sex. Another argument made against single sex schools is that they do not help children to get ready for 'real life' and the 'real world' where, of course, the two genders do co-exist. The same argument is cited with regard to universities and the workplace - opponents to single sex schools believe that mixed schools better prepare students for university and work life. The first debate I ever had was titled ‘Single sex vs. Mixed schools’. There were the usual arguments against mixed school; the boys would distract the girls, that girls do better academically in single sex schools and there are more pregnancies in mixed schools. Having experienced both types of education I have come down firmly on the side of a mixed education. I wrote a previous blog on this subject (http://www.liz.viewfromthequad.com/?p=105) but I’ve decided to go into more detail about it.
After I came out of a mixed primary school filled with immature boys I was incredibly happy to be going to an all girls school, and for the first two years everything seemed to...
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