Oral presentation given on the effects of single-sex schooling.

Essay by Mia451College, Undergraduate February 2008

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Shadow Study TalkMy shadow study topic was to research whether same sex classes might help to improve the performance of underachieving boys.

Boys, on average, when starting at secondary school are� months behind the average girl in speaking and listening skills� months behind in literacy�months behind in numeracyGirls in England and Wales repeatedly achieve, on average, 10% higher grades at their GCSEs in all subjects, even the more traditionally 憁ale� subjects like physics and chemistry.

Reasons:昉hysical: Boys mature slower than girls and so girls are more mature in their approaches to learning and in their ability to learn昄earning Styles: Research has shown that boys respond better to more traditional teaching methods (memorising facts and rules that have to be acquired quickly). Girls are usually more visual learners and are better at open � ended tasks which require pupils to think for themselves.

旵urriculum: Boys are better at end of year exams whereas girls favour coursework and modular exams.

It is argued by some that the current curriculum favours girls more.

昄ack of male role models: 83% of Primary teachers are female and many subjects at secondary are still dominated by women. Boys often see school as a female dominated place. This encourages the attitude that it抯 cool to fail in school, especially in academic subjects where pupils are labeled geeks if they shine, although it抯 OK to be good at P.E.

There抯 lot抯 of debate about how to raise the performance of underachieving boys. The English Department in the school I was at, Balerno High School, had started a pilot scheme this year where some S3 and S5 classes were split by gender to try and raise boys achievement as boys always perform significantly worse than girls at English. Similarly the P.E. department had been running for a few years...