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SOCB26H3 (75)
Lecture

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCB26H3
Professor
Julian Tanner
Semester
Winter

Description
What might girls benefit from single-sex schooling?  Female teachers act as role models and mentors  Boosts confidence and self-esteem in girls  Girls get undivided attention of teachers  No academic underperfomance by girls (to prevent embarrassment of less gifted boyfriends?)  No boys to dominate group projects  No boys for teachers to attach greater expectations o In mixed classrooms: o girls didn’t want to do work because they didn’t want to show up their less gifted boyfriends o in group projects, the boys take up leadership position, girls go into subordinate positions o when they are group together (boys and girls), teachers regard boys as more conflict-prone and expect more from them o male students often undermine female students by gossiping, teasing, sexual harassment o in mixed classrooms, female students are distracted by their male peers, instead of concentrating al their time on school work they are more concerned with the ‘justin-bieber’ look alike in the next row  girls perform better in single-sexed environment then in an environment which they have to share with boys  Some studies have found that female educational attainment is higher in all-girls schools than in co- educational schools  However, the usual comparison (particularly in U.S) is between single sex private schools and coeducational public schools o Most of the schools that are public draw from a variety of backgrounds (high status, low status, low income etc) o Mix of kids that were gifted and less academically gifted o The research which finds advantages in single sex schools are private schools, or selective schools (select based on ability (merit),jncome)  Why is this a problem? o Bell, 1989- Wales and England study o Boys and girls do better in the single sexed schools than co-ed schools o He also found 40% in single sexed schools were selected based on ability, whereas 3% for public school (note: not all of the single-sexed schools were private schools) o Research challenges the idea that the superior performance of girls in single sexed schools is explained by the fact that it’s a single sexed schools, and suggest that they have superior cognitive skills? o  These studies fail to control for the prior attainment levels and social backgrounds of girls entering single sex schools  New Zealand study o New Zealand has been unique in that within its public sector in addition to a large number of coeducational schools, there are also a large number of single-sex schools o New Zealand is important for this reason, and in both of the public and private schools they have examples of single sexed schools and coed schools (this allows us to compare ‘apples with apples’ instead of apples with oranges)  Answer to following questions is YES  Are there differences in achievement scores between boys and girls?  They did find differences, but these differences were not very large  Girls do better than boys in English  Girls do less well in mathematics than boys  Not much difference in science  However these gender differences were small, and got smaller as time went on  Are there differences in marks and achievement scores between girls in single sex schools and girls in coeducational schools?  In all subjects, girls get higher grades in single sexed schools than coed students  Are there differences in social background and measured ability between students who attend single sex and coed schools?  In this study, the girls who entered single sexed schools had higher achievement scores than girls who entered local coeducation  Also found differences in social background  Girls who attended single sexed schools tended to come from higher status backgrounds  Also employed very sophisticated statistical techniques, they were able to do data analysis which enabled them to eliminate which factors lead to superior performance of girls in singl
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