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Published in the February 22, 2017 issue of The Bells
Should single gender classrooms be required in schools? This is a question that has sparked a lot of debate over the years. Research seems to support the idea that people learn better when they are in an environment with peers of the same gender.
However, there are social downfalls to students learning in an environment with only those of the same gender. Parents should consider whether the educational benefits outweigh the social downfalls.
I think that students should be separated into single gender classrooms during the elementary years. It is important that students learn as much as they can in this stage because they are so impressionable. Therefore, it would be a positive to eliminate distractions from the classroom.
In this scenario, boys wouldn’t have the chance to tease and distract the girls, and girls wouldn’t have the chance to bug the boys with their elementary attempts at flirting.
Having the students learn in a single gender classroom could also help minimize gender-specific bullying in schools, which can cause serious emotional trauma. Single-gender classrooms at an elementary level will help increase learning during those first years of school.
However, in the middle school and high school years, I believe that single-gender classrooms should only be in the core classes; English, science, mathematics, and history. It is important that students are able to learn these skills in a more focused environment. But in the elective classes, students should learn in a co-ed environment.
Students shouldn’t be completely isolated from the other gender, however. It is important that students learn how to work with the opposite gender.
In the college classroom, it is imperative that students are in co-ed classrooms. These students aren’t just learning basic skills anymore. In college, you are preparing yourself for the real world. The real world involves adults of both genders working together to solve problems, to make the world a better place.
In a co-ed classroom, students will learn how to work with the other gender, especially through collaboration and group projects. Males will come to realize that their female counterparts can handle multiple things at one time. Females will come to understand that a male can focus his attention on one thing at a time without being distracted. These skills can be learned in a co-ed college classroom environment.
There are many benefits to learning in single-gender classrooms. These benefits have a greater effect on elementary students. However, as students grow up, they need to learn the skills to be able to work together. Research shows that single gender classrooms eliminate distractions. These distractions should be avoided until students learn the life skills they need to be successful academically. That is when it becomes more beneficial to learn in a co-ed environment.