Keep Them Separated? Gender-based Education Being Challenged
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) – Vive la difference.
But not in the classroom.
Over the past six years, more schools have been moving to separate boys and girls. But a string of lawsuits is merging them back to co-ed.
The thought behind segregating classrooms by gender is that boys and girls learn in very different ways. For example one theory is that girls need more interaction while boys need more activity.
Dr. Laurie Puchner, with the Educational Leadership Department at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, tells KMOX, brain scans do show some difference but she points out there’s no research showing that separating the sexes gives an educational boost. “The arguments are based on stereotypes and they’re not based on any good science.”
Puchner says catering to the sexes can create even more inequality in education. “Having boys in classrooms where they’re able to get up and move around but not girls, then you are not giving girls the benefit of what we know from good research will enhance the learning of all students.”
Puchner says she believes some schools have gone this route to try and improve academic performance, because it’s cheaper and easier than other changes.
Copyright KMOX Radio