Single-sex education is an education administered at the elementary, secondary, or post secondary level in which males or females attend school exclusively with members of the same sex. There are a good number of schools and colleges that offer this kind of education, however, just like the other mixed system, they have challenges too. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of sending children to a single-sex school:
A more relaxing and collaborative environment
Many of the single-sex schools can reduce tension and anxiety for boys and girls as they may not experience social pressures or competition to worry about, such as impressing the opposite sex. In this type of environment, they can freely speak out openly and honestly and be themselves in classrooms. They may be more ready to take risks, the reason being that they won’t have to worry so much about the presence of the opposite sex. Normally, the environment in a single-sex classroom is buzzing with steady and stable talking. Everyone contributes freely in class discussions.
A more specific academic program and extra-curricular activities
Single-sex classrooms provide the teacher with an opportunity to tailor the curriculum and pursue extracurricular activities without gender stereotype. Teachers are able to design school curriculum in an approach that students can connect with easily. An example is where if it’s an all-girls school, teachers can read relevant books that are of more importance to girls and as a result, they can speak more about what concerns girls. Single-sex schools allow students to have a relaxed environment to concentrate on gender-based topics.
Lesser and smaller cliques
Single-sex schools, in particular girls’ schools, tend to have lesser cliques. This is because they do not have to be anxious about being admired or impressing the boys; this allows them to concentrate on their learning and also build good closeness with other girls. Likewise, in boys’ schools, the strain of appearing cool in the eyes of girls is greatly reduced, therefore, students may tend to be kinder towards their associates and less prone to creating groups that rule out others.
Breaking gender stereotypes
Students in single-sex schools can show more attention in unconventional subjects with no embarrassment. For example in a boys’ school, male dancers or authors may be invited to teach or speak of their art skills; in such environment, boys freely ask questions without shy as it would in a co-ed school. This can also happen in subjects or activities such as drama, visual art or digital arts. Similarly, in a girls’ school, female artists or counselors can visit and give talks where girls can freely ask questions without being branded or labeled by the opposite gender.
Girls and boys in single-sex schools may fail or miss out on learning how to mingle with the opposite gender. Lack of socialization can lead to shyness or being uncomfortable in meeting their counterparts outside. In many circumstances where these children face the opposite gender, they don’t at all times know how to respond or react, as they are not familiar with the environment.
Co-ed schools provide opportunities where girls and boys become true friends with one other and build a basis for supportive friendship with the opposite sex. Such opportunities are not possible in single-sex schools.
Harder to assimilate in the future
Single-sex schools generally offer a safer, cushier environment. This makes students find it hard to fit and adjust to the mixed-gender society later in the future as they might not be well familiar with how to handle the other gender. Eventually, they may experience something similar to a culture shock immediately they get out to the real world on their own.