This House Believes Single Sex Schools Are Better For Education
I wish the best of luck to my opponent.
Many thanks for accepting this debate, Wocambs.
1.) Boys and girls are an unwelcome distraction to each other.
Boys and girls tend to distract each other from their education, especially in adolescence as their sexual and emotional sides develop. Too much time can be spent attempting to impress or even sexually harassing each other (particularly boys toward girls). Academic competition between the sexes is unhealthy and only adds to unhappiness and anxiety among weaker students. As Tricia Kelleher, a school principal, argues, ‘rather than girls defining themselves by their interests, they define themselves by what the boys think of them or what other girls think boys think of them’.Furthermore, John Silber, President of Boston University, declared in 2002 that his university would prioritize male applications in order to even up the student composition and ensure the male population did not become ‘ungentlemanly’ towards women due to their numerical inferiority. A single-sex environment is therefore a space where (children) can learn without feeling pressurized by the other sex.
After this point is refuted by you, I shall point out more factors as to why I feel Single Sex schools are much better learning environments.
My source is listed below
Sexual exploration during adolescence is incredibly important. Indeed, is one of the defining features of adolescence, as you will find by watching any film, reading any book, or listening to any music in which adolescence is a key theme. To attempt to eliminate this from the lives of children is grossly immoral, and if that objective is completed, it would lead to maladjusted, awkward and frustrated adults who have no understanding of the other sex or the culture they inherit. As Simon Baron-Cohen, a professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Trinity College, says ""A strong reason for co-education is that separating children for a number of years means they will not be mixing and learning about each other".
Academic competition leads to success, unless it the environment becomes hypercompetitive and the students are put under undue stress. I don't see any reason to think that the presence of the other sex is going to cause 'unhealthy' levels of competition. Would healthy competition not increase academic success?
Instead of viewing the the mixing of boy and girls as a barrier to education it should be seen as an opportunity for learning and integration. Acceptance and equality are incredibly important, and this is encouraged by co-education.
While you make some fair points, I would like like to counter your statement by pointing out:
2.) Women are better off in single-sex institutions
Women in particular benefit from a single-sex education; research shows that they participate more in class, develop much higher self-esteem, score higher in aptitude tests, are more likely to choose ‘male’ disciplines such as science in college, and are more successful in their careers. In the USA Who’s Who, graduates of women’s colleges outnumber all other women; there are only approximately 50 women’s colleges left in the States today.Elizabeth Tidball, who conducted the Who’s Who research, also later concluded that women’s colleges produced ‘more than their fair share who went on to medical school or received doctorates in the natural or life sciences’, typically male fields.
Wocambs forfeited this round.
It appears Wocambs has forfeited the round.
Out of goodwill [and the fact I have nothing to refute], I have nothing more to say.
Well, you haven't really refuted my argument, you merely took the opportunity to focus entirely upon the academic aspect of education.
Instinctively I suspected that there was far more at play than a simple coed / single sex dichotomy. Indeed, I know from personal experience that single sex schools are likely to be both highly selective and expensive. Satisfyingly, my thoughts are corroborated.
"As Faye Crosby, a professor of psychology at Smith College, and other critics have observed, Tidball did not control for characteristics of women's colleges, apart from sexual homogeneity, that might well account for the success of their graduates. She did not allow for the socio-economic privileges shared by many graduates of elite women's colleges or for the selectivity of the schools."
"Tidball's subsequent finding, that single-sex schools produce more female achievers in the sciences and medicine, also collapses under scrutiny. Faye Crosby and her Smith colleagues found in a comparison of similarly selective single-sex and coeducational schools that "women's colleges are not more productive." There are no definitive comparative data on the benefits of single-sex colleges for women. "Data are slim," Crosby writes, "but they indicate that coeducational schools are as likely to produce women scientists as are women's colleges."[ibid. p.2]
In the same article, there is also a comment by sociologist Cynthia Epstein regarding the apparent superiority of single sex schools: "There does not seem to be research support for this perspective".
It does not seem to be true, then, that your study is reliable. Even if I were to grant the truth of your study, what would this prove? Apparently, that single sex schools are better for girls.
My issue with this is that we are discussing education for both sexes, and so you must prove it is better for both.
I notice that your arguments have, on the whole, been rather feminist - discussions of 'sexual harassment', the focus on girls, and the idea that men are the 'aggressors' (a key feminist tenet). In the debate over coed and single sex education there is in general a rather sexist attitude - boys are incapable of keeping their hands off the girls, who are in turn 'frightened' and 'bullied'. These are two classic genders stereotypes, and they are always perpetuated by the side arguing in favour of single sex education. This is suggests to me that instead of challenging sexual inequalities through education, those in favour of single sex education are in fact promoting sexual inequalities by pandering to gender stereotypes.
In my eyes, the position of those in favour of single sex education's superiority are in this mindset: 'Rather than teach our students how to coexist with the other sex, separate them!'.
If you desire to create a world where males and females are equal and cohesive, then they must be educated together, for if they spend their education believing that men and women are irreconcilable, then they will likely believe this for their adult lives too.
I've noticed that you doubt the legitamacy of my sources. Therefore, my next staement will be purely factual:
3.) Boys and girls develop at different times and speeds, therefore they should be taught separately
Co-educational schools attempt to establish uniformity in the teaching of two groups, boys and girls, who typically learn and develop at different speeds and using different methods. ‘They do not develop in the same way or at the same time; boys favour visual processing and do not have the hand-motor control that girls readily achieve in early grades’.It is widely accepted that ‘boys develop more slowly than girls..that’s true at every level of analysis’. Furthermore, they develop physically at different speeds, girls often developing earlier which can lead to bullying from the opposite sex for those who either over-develop or under-develop. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that, at least in the United States, elementary school boys are 50% more likely to repeat a grade than girls and they drop out of high school a third more often. If they were taught separately and the curriculum and teaching was tailored to their needs, drop-out rates would not be so high nor as vastly disproportionate.
Wocambs forfeited this round.
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