There Should Be More Single Sex School

Topics: Education, Gender, Sex segregation Pages: 5 (1640 words) Published: November 13, 2014
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There should be more single sex schools in Hong Kong!

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As the majority of well-known schools in Hong Kong are single-sex, the effectiveness of single sex education has been thoroughly debated. While some educators believe that single sex schools may offer a better learning environment, others disputed that single sex education can generate social problems among teenagers. This essay examines both the arguments for and against increasing the amount of single sex schools in Hong Kong.!

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A number of research has shown that there are numerous advantages when learning in singlesex schools. The National Association of Single Public Education (NASSPE) indicated that teachers in single-sex schools can design a more tailored curriculum, which according to the gender differences in learning. There are significant differences in the ways girls and boys learn. Gurian (2010) believes that the brain-based difference of boys and girls affect their learning style. According to his research, boys tend to be deductive in conceptualizing, while girls tend to favor inductive thinking. For instance, boys prefer understanding a general principle before applying it, in contrary, girls likely want to begin with concrete examples and then build general theory.!

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However, some scholars dispute that the practice of segregating boys and girls in different schools is actually based on gender stereotypes. Boys and girls are taught in a way according to the notions of how they should behave and react, which may somehow reinforce sex stereotype among students. For example, boys usually like energetic teachers speaking in a loud voice, while girls prefer teachers to speak softly and to be approached by a gentler touch. Boys are reported being increasingly aggressive when staying in a single-sex environment(Fabes, Shepard, Guthrie, & Martin,1997), likewise, girls will become more sex-typed when spending more time with other girls(Martin & Fabes, 2001).“Evidence is more clear that sex segregation increases gender stereotyping and legitimizes institutionalized sexism”(Chandler,2011, para. 3)!

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In addition to the lack of interaction with the opposite sex, some researchers believe that single sex education can improve academic achievement. Students can learn in an environment without the distraction of opposite sex in single sex schools. They can be more concentrate on their studies instead of concerning about how to become popular in order to impress the opposite sex. ! According to Park, Behrman, and Choi’s (2012) study, compared to coeducational schools, there is a higher percentage of graduates who moved on to four-year colleges in single sex schools. Furthermore, some researchers believe that girls studying in a single sex environment can have higher achievement in mathematics and science. Diaconu (2006) observed that girls attending single sex education have more positive attitude towards science than girls from coeducational schools, based on the study of Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) datasets in both Hong Kong and New Zealand. !

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While the absence of the opposite sex in single sex schools may reduce distraction, some researchers argued that single sex education can cause social problems to children duo to the unrealistic environment. Students who studying in single sex school will lack of opportunities to understand the opposite sex, learn how they respond and behave. Since there is a significant possibility for students to cooperatively work with opposite gender in the future, it may be necessary for students to develop social skills for interacting with them. Hannan and Shortall

(1991) investigated that boys and girls who study in coeducational schools in Ireland were more positive about their schooling in the aspects of personal and social development. Moreover, the study conducted by Leonard (2007) in UK revealed that men who attended single sex schools were more...
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