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Single-gender classrooms can help boost boys’ learning experience and grades as well as bring down the overall levels of disciplinary actions and referrals at the same time.
There has been a great deal of speculation as to whether or not separate-gender schools and classes are helpful in opening up more opportunities for boys in all areas of learning today. The number of single-sex schools in the U.S. has been gradually increasing over the last few years, and advocates of the trend emphasize that there are many benefits for boys who attend boys’ only schools today, especially in the earliest years of school. Although the job of educators and parents is to make sure that single-gender schools and classrooms work for both boys and girls, schools around the country are now learning that single-gender classrooms can help bolster grades as well as bring down the overall levels of disciplinary actions and referrals, an area where the boys have always outnumbered the girls.
Part of the problem with mixed gender classrooms is that most American elementary schools favor the learning style that works the best for girls. Boys are expected to sit quietly and listen attentively, but that does not always work for boys, especially those in elementary school. An all-boys’ school gives educators the ability to create a learning environment that meets the specific learning needs of boys by focusing on boys’ natural curiosity and high energy levels by incorporating hands-on learning into everyday lessons. An all-boys’ school also affords an environment where they can learn without being compared to the girls who usually develop their language and coordination skills earlier than the boys do. This especially true in the primary grades because the boys’ develop at a different pace and often feel out of place and can quickly lose interest in school and learning altogether.
An all boys’ school is an opportunity to create an optimum physical learning environment because the difference between boys and girls goes beyond just cognitive learning and developmental functions. Recognizing the distinct physiological differences between boys and girls allows schools to build a physical environment better suited to boys and one where boys are able to learn best too. The advantages of an all-boys’ school include the fact that it can help the students to become more engaged and excited about learning in the first place. Studies by the U.S. Department of Education have shown that boys in single-sex elementary and middle schools are more engaged in academic activities, more likely to complete their homework, and less likely to cause classroom disruptions, all tangible positive results.
A boys’ school experience can also encourage boys to pursue a wider variety of interests in school instead of focusing only on masculine-type subjects like science and math. Boys who attend single-gender schools are more likely to study art, music, and foreign languages as well as participate in athletics and community functions. Boys’ schools also help students to form lasting friendship bonds because the boys often find they have more in common with their classmates and are more likely to view each other as close friends as they advance in school. Given the multiple advantages of single-sex schools for boys, it is a good bet that more school districts around the country will start separating students in the classroom to enhance the overall learning process for both sexes in the near future.
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