or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › Single sex classes
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Single sex classes

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
We received a permission slip from DS8's school yesterday for a boys only class next year. I have until Wednesday next week to send it back which I will do, I am just after opinions on single sex classes. I like the idea that it will be boys orientated.
post #2 of 18
Wow, this is a real thing happening somewhere? What a concept. I never ever would have thought this was a good idea in my pre-children days. Now that I have a very spirited boy, I see it differently. Have you read Real Boys by William Pollack? I think this book is essential reading before making this decision--(read fast!!!) He argues quite eloquently for separation of boys and girls in school.

Now that my son is in 3rd grade and I can see he is just not 'cutting it' with all the sit down paper and pencil work, I think if someone offered this to us I would go for it. That would be assuming that the teaching would actually be geared to boys, and not just be separating them for the sake of separation.

I am curious how the curriculum would be different? How is it being presented to you? What are they focusing on--learning styles or some other factor?
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
They haven't given us a run down on how the cirriculum differs, just that they realise that boys are different from girls and that the classes are taught with boys in mind. There is an elimination process the boys will be put through due to limited numbers and I guess they will give us more info after we put in our expression of interest. I figured that I will sign him up and after I get more details if I don't like the idea I can always pull him out. I haven't read "Real Boys" although I do remember vaguely seeing it in a book store.
post #4 of 18
I would definitely find out what the process would be for choosing the children. It seems that every time I hear about anyone trying to engineer ideal groups of children in a classroom, it turns out to be disappointing for the parents, teachers, and students.
post #5 of 18
Boys and Girls Learn Differently!: A Guide for Teachers and Parents by Michael Gurian

Awsome book.
post #6 of 18
This is an old idea that I always felt was a good idea.

Boys and girls learn differently and distract each other in adolescence. I think they should be separated

Hilary Rodham attended a private all girls' college (Wellsley) in the late 1960's. As did attorney Gloria Allred; although Gloria has voiced opinions against the idea, I think it helped her concentration in college based on her success.

I think it is a great idea! It was a mistake to stop the separation.

When I was in elementary school there were several private same-sex high schools in my community; they either closed or became co-ed by 1970;

...what goes around, comes around.
post #7 of 18
I have always instinctually felt this was a bad idea.

Then I did some research.

Then I thought, well maybe it could be helpful to girls.

Then I did some more research.

Then I thought, wow it could be even better for boys.

I say "go for it" and if you change your mind, or don't like it you can always switch back
post #8 of 18
I'd need to know lots more about their plans and the reasons for the all boy class before choosing (a look at School Council -if there is one- meeting minutes might show how the idea came about)

will the boys only group be taken up by all the loud and physically active boys? could be hell for a quiet bookish boy

will there also be a girls only class or will the sex ratio in the rest of the classes be skewed to girls?

I agree that teens may do better with separate classes but am not so sure about primary school age
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have sent in the expression of interest, I hear back early in the week as to whether he has been excepted or not. If he has then I will go in search of what they are trying to achieve and how they are going to go about it. Apparantly they have had a lot of letters come back, more than they were planning.
The rest of the classes will then have a higher girl to boy ratio. Wonder about the boys in those classes...
post #10 of 18
ds1 was in a class in grade 6 (the local state primary) with few boys and many girls, not sure how this happened - maybe more boys are sent to private schools in primary than girls? the skewing was compounded by some parents of boys removing their sons from the class when they discovered they were outnumbered!! no idea why

his experience of girls in grade 6 was that they are on another planet, most are well into puberty while the boys are still... boys so he had little to do with them, it cut down his socialising a bit but he has never been one for loads of friends. ds found the studious girls OK to work with but the girly ones... well, they are on another planet as far as I can tell!

I'm always more concerned about the actual kids in the group - one wild card can cause a lot of damage in any class
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Just am update, we had an information morning at the school yesterday morning regarding the boys classes, it was very positive. I caught myself a few times thinking "yes, this is what my son needs". it is getting late and I am ready for bed, but if anyone is interested I can go into more detail in the morn.
post #12 of 18
I am definitely interested in hearing more when you have time!
post #13 of 18
Yes, I would like to know more too. Also if anyone has any websites or other book titles, I'd like to know about them.
post #14 of 18
I would say that it definitely helps for teens who are easily distracted by the opposite sex.

However, as far as boys and girls learning differently, keep in mind that that is On AVERAGE. Traits that "average" boys have are still present in many girls, and characteristics that are thought of as female, are quite prevalent in boys too. Depends on the INDIVIDUAL child.
post #15 of 18
I have often thought I would like an all-girls school for dd (one with only female teachers too). The trouble is, most of these schools tend to be religious or for "problem children" and teach anti-sex messages of shame.

I don't want to protect dd from distraction; I want her to learn to work with it. Distractions are everywhere in the world; if I hadn't learned to deal with it there's no way I could drive a car! "Wow, was that a squirrel?!"

According to Title IX, any public school offering this has to offer it equally to boys and girls, and it has to be the choice of the student if they want to be in a program like that. The only exception is sex education; schools may separate boys and girls, but the classes must have equal educational value.

In a boys-only class, I would worry about one boy eventually being the "dominant male" and one boy becoming the one that gets picked on all the time. I would hope a class like that would teach boys to value the "feminine" in themselves as well.

Perhaps, instead of boys-only or girls-only, the school could offer classes for outgoing students vs. shy students, or classes geared to those who learn best from books vs. those who learn best from lectures, etc.
post #16 of 18
I'm new to the whole school experience as my dd is only 3 and just in preschool. She's in a co-ed one now, but will be attending pre-K at a single sex school next year where she'll also go to elementary school. I live in an area where I have to make my decision relatively early as the schools (religious) fill up their classes early.

That said, when I did the research I was bowled over by not only the theoretical/research benefits to girls, but what I saw when I went to see the schools (and I looked at several...coed and single sex, as well as single sex classes within a coed school). The girls in this school were forthright, they said what they thought, they stood up for themselves, and they had confidence they would get the help they needed from their teachers. When I went to speak to the principal, she was on the phone arguing with the public district superintendent about getting special services for several of "her girls." This is the kind of advocacy I want for my daughters. And so far my research has told me that this kind of school facilitates a great, multi-faceted and integrated education -- I didn't see one classroom with rows of desks, etc. But I was most impressed with the girls.

I still really go back and forth about homeschooling, and I may yet do that road if things don't work out (especially as, being religious, we don't have as many educational choices in schools). But if these girls are a significant example of the quality of the school, I will be very happy!

post #17 of 18
Is this a public school? One of the things that concerns me is that they are only offering this to boys and not to girls. It's as if they have decided that the boys are somehow more important. Also, my concerns would be the same as Greaseballs. That you may end up with a dominant alpha male picking on a shy, bookish child. I can see how this type of program might benefit my rambunctious, extroverted sons, but might be pretty awful for my friend's quiet, shy boy. I think you end up with these problems when you generalize too much about the way a whole sex behaves. When I was in school I was forever in trouble because I was loud and active. I scored nearly perfect on every test, had my homework in on time always and finished class work before all of the other kids, but I wasn't quiet and calm like the teachers expected the girls to be. I wonder how I would have fared in an all girls school and if the problem wouldn't have been compounded even more.
post #18 of 18
I would definitely consider it.

I work in a large public high school, and when you look at the stats, boys tend to perform far below girls the older they get. My school sought to pilot a voluntary all-male classes program that received a lot of support from parents, students, and teachers. However, upon taking the proposal to the school board, the lawyers promptly nixed it, saying that even if we also offered all-girl classes, there would always be equity questions. Along the lines of "separate does not mean equal".

I felt like saying, "Treating people fairly doesn't mean treating them the same. Fairness is giving each student what they need."

Good luck making your decision.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at School
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › Single sex classes