01 March 2008

Single-sex vs. Co-ed education

Do single-sex schools provide environments more suited for learning? Should boys and girls be taught differently?

A New York Times Magazine article discusses single-sex education in the U.S.

"Among advocates of single-sex public education, there are two camps: those who favor separating boys from girls because they are essentially different and those who favor separating boys from girls because they have different social experiences and social needs. Leonard Sax represents the essential-difference view, arguing that boys and girls should be educated separately for reasons of biology: for example, Sax asserts that boys don’t hear as well as girls, which means that an instructor needs to speak louder in order for the boys in the room to hear her; and that boys’ visual systems are better at seeing action, while girls are better at seeing the nuance of color and texture. The social view is represented by teachers like Emily Wylie, who works at the Young Women’s Leadership School of East Harlem (T.Y.W.L.S.), an all-girls school for Grades 7-12. Wylie described her job to me by saying, “It’s my subversive mission to create all these strong girls who will then go out into the world and be astonished when people try to oppress them.”

I wonder if a single-sex education could be beneficial at the University level as well. I get annoyed by the argument both for and against co-ed education because the educational benefits are never considered.

All their arguments revolve around morality, on one hand, and logistics on the other. Which to me represents our collective feelings about education and women.

Despite the student population being 60% women at Kuwait's only public university, we aren't really concerned with their education as much as their "morality".

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