Eton College, Harrow school, or Bruton School, first school for girls in Irgiz opened by Altynsarin, Kazakh-Turk lyceums for boys and girls have something in common. All of them are types of SSE.
The abbreviation SSE stands for single-sex or sex-segregation education. The goal of SSE is to educate boys and girls separately according to their different learning abilities and capabilities.
SSE effects academic achievement and class size. Funding and special teacher training are pivotal to implement SSE. The benefits of SSE: reductions of class size that effect on academic achievement. According to SSE boys are “visual learners” and girls are “audio learners” that is why they have to be separated and taught with the use of different methods and techniques. Implementation of SSE is not easy, the main concern is funding. Text materials prepared in accordance with the gender learning differences; costs of teacher training programs are only few of the examples.
Many evidences support a well-known fact of gender diversity. Brains of males are larger than females’. However, when it comes to children can we claim the same? The truth is that many of research studies on learning differences among males and females concern adults’ brains, not children’s. There is little or almost no research done on the difference between children learning abilities according to their genders. An associate Professor of Neuroscience at The Chicago Medical School, Eliot (2013) points out “the reality is that children’s brains do not operate like adults” (p. 364). In her further research she also mentions, “boys and girls learn and process information in very similar ways from birth” (p. 374).
The research that was conducted by Crawford-Ferre and Wiest (2013) showed both sides of a coin. The strengths of SSE were the following: in all-boys schools distraction disappeared as there were no girls doing boy’s homework. This removal of distraction caused girls to become more active in a learning procedure. Girls did not have to act out looking silly in front of boys anymore. Despite this advantage, the research revealed the weaknesses of SSE. Lack of social experience between genders brings disrespect and omission of diverse ideas in a classroom. “Boys and girls must learn to work together, and the classroom is the ideal setting for such practice because it is both purposeful and supervised” (Strauss, 2012). In addition, negative attitudes of girls in all-girls schools can lead to negative behavior. Intimidation and bullying can be understood by the fact that “girls can be as bad as boys” (Crawford-Ferre & Wiest, 2013, p. 309).
The theme of SSE is difficult to judge from one side. Some may find reasonable arguments for developing such schools. Some can argue that disadvantages overshadow advantages. In any cases, it is up to parents where to send their children.
Eliot, L. (2013). Single-sex education and the brain. Sex Roles, 69 (8), 363-381.
Crawford-Ferre, H.G. & Wiest, L.R. (2013). Single-sex education in public school settings. The Educational Forum, 77 (3), 300-314.
CK, (2012, November 12). Gender Segregation Education. WomanStats Blog. Retrieved from https://womanstats.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/gender-segregation-education/
Strauss, V. (2012, May 4). The case against single-sex schooling. Washington post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/the-case-against-single-sex-schooling/2012/06/03/gJQA75DNCV_blog.html