It may seem old fashioned, but single-sex education remains the predominant model for most of the world, and there is good reason to believe that this approach has helped much of the industrialized world succeed in education while the U.S. school system continues to falter.
As U.S. public schools slip further into dilapidation and U.S. educational standards continue to wither in the face of postponed reform, more parents are considering the benefits of private education, wherein student sex separation is commonplace.
In particular, boarding schools have seen a remarkable resurgence in popularity over the last decade or so, and students attending are scoring higher and going farther.
Six of the greatest benefits to such single sex boarding schools you’re unlikely to see in co-ed academic models include:
PRO-ACTIVE AND SELF-MOTIVATED STUDENTS
Studies have consistently shown that both boys and girls perform better at tests and are more willing to participate when separated by sex. This can be measurable almost immediately, with one particular experiment in 1995 showing that after 100 middle schoolers were divided by sex, students began to almost instantaneously achieve more, speak up more, and display more confidence.
GENDER SPECIFIC LEARNING TECHNIQUES
Boys and girls learn differently from one another. This is especially the case throughout their younger years. Dividing students by sex means that separate more precise academic models can be used for pupils, ensuring that the education is more effective than it’s otherwise be. For parents of students struggling in a co-ed learning environment, this may be the reason why.
THERE’S LESS DRAMA
The he-said she-said drama of co-ed middle schools and high schools leads to classroom instability and possibly even violence. Simply put, single-sex education models help dissolve the soap operas seemingly inherent with teenage life. While it won’t eliminate every instant of classroom rambunctiousness, it will reduce their rate of occurrence.
GREATER EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITY INVOLVEMENT
Boarding school life leaves very little opportunity to engage in activities outside of the confines of the campus. This in turn encourages more students to participate in sports, join clubs, and pursue other extracurriculars they may have otherwise skipped in favor of cruising the mall parking lot for girls or sneaking out to meet the boys at the movies. Participation in these extracurricular activities, in turn, make students more enticing college applicants and more likely to receive scholarships.
OBSTACLES ARE EASIER TO IDENTIFY
Take a lesson from the success of boys boarding schools such as the Army and Navy Academy which have been in operation for over a century. When students are under the complete supervision of staff and educators, underlining obstacles keeping them from academic success can be easier to identify. This is not the case in situations where educators have only a few hours a day to work with a student.
STUDENTS ARE BETTER PREPARED FOR COLLEGE
The academic model of boarding schools is almost perfectly in-sync with that of college dorm life. By having your child attend a boarding school, you are preparing him or her for a university environment. In addition, the emphasis on leadership, trust, and teamwork is sure to provide a foundation on which a successful life can be built.
Single-sex boarding schools are not the cold-hearted institutions we’re familiar with thanks to Dickens and other 19th century fiction writers. While seemingly outdated, such academic institutions may have been right about their instructional methods all along, and they could be a great answer to the continuing struggle U.S. education is facing.