Oakland Mills High School is the home of the Scorpions and is known for its diversity. Those belonging to a large variety of ethnicities, backgrounds, and cultures can be found in this school. In addition to these very important aspects of identity, one can also be defined by their sex. In the school setting, many have been in academic environments where their peer group consisted of both sexes, male and female, and have performed well. So what are the advantages and disadvantages of both co-ed and single-sex education?
Before one can understand the differences between co-ed and single-sex educative environments, one must first define them. According to Study.com, Co-Ed, or co-educational learning, is defined as schools where both male and females are taught together. On the other end of the schooling spectrum is single-sex education which is defined as the teaching of boys and girls in separate classrooms or schools, according to Kristin Stan, a writer and editor who specializes in parenting, education, and consumer health and wellness issues. Many possess strong opinions regarding co-ed schools, whether it be for or against them.
Study.com explores the positive effects of this single-sex environments. The article states, “Students who are comfortable working in environments with people whose gender is different from their own may be able to adjust better in environments that include both sexes” (Study.com). Such a point holds great relevance in the environment one will inevitably encounter in life, as we all live in a co-ed world, containing both sexes. Additionally, it also explains that co-ed schooling includes the comfort in expressing oneself in the presence of the other sex. The article continues stating that “Another reason people prefer Co-Ed schools is so individuals can grow up comfortable expressing themselves when they are in the company of the other sex” (Study.com). This further reaffirms the aforementioned relevance to the reality of our environments. The article makes a final point in regards to the benefits of co-ed schooling stating that “Being in an environment which includes both males and females also helps individuals to appreciate differing opinions or views. Most people would agree that males and females process information differently” (Study.com). Being in a co-ed school provides these benefits that could still apply when outside of this academic environment.
In the article “Single-sex education: the pros and cons,” Stanberry explores the positives of single-sex education and how it may benefit students in such a learning environment. He says that “Some parents don’t want their children to be in mixed-gender classrooms because, especially at certain ages, students of the opposite sex can be a distraction” (Stanberry). Additionally, Stanberry also explains that the separation of boys and girls is beneficial to work against gender stereotypes. Stanberry continues to explain that “Some research and reports from educators suggest that single-sex education can broaden the educational prospects for both girls and boys. Advocates claim co-ed schools tend to reinforce gender stereotypes, while single-sex schools can break down gender stereotypes” (Stanberry). An article by Niche, a platform that helps others discover ideal schools and neighborhoods, further validates this case in “Pros and Cons of Single-Sex Education,” explaining that single-sex education could be beneficial with teachers that could “employ instruction techniques geared toward specific genders” (Niche). In the same article, it is also emphasized that “girls mature faster, so potentially boys won’t hold them back” (Niche).
Now that the differences and benefits of single-sex and co-ed schooling has been brought to light, which experience would you prefer?