Monday, March 28, 2011

Separate boys from girls in the early grades

Maybe single sex classes can help improve boys' reading skills.
An increasing number of Cape Town schools are opting to separate boys and girls because of the key differences in the way they are able to learn and cope with their emotional maturity....
Boys were nine to 15 months behind in reading but the same amount of time ahead in maths, science and spatial activities. For this reason pupils at Sun Valley were separated in grades 1, 2 and 3.
Keller said that in these early years girls were more adept at reading, leaving boys in the same class feeling they were not interested. When boys were in a separate class they were able to learn to read at their own pace, and enjoy doing so. 
Indications that it might improve achievement levels:
And on the list of the top 10 performing schools in the province in the 2010 final exams, half of the schools were girls schools. Of the other five schools, four were boys schools and only one, Westerford High School, was co-ed
But the article does not state what percentage of schools are coed.

Richard Whitmire writes that This Is Leonard Sax's Argument


  1. That would have been so horrible for my boys, who were early readers. I cannot imagine their misery in an all-boy classroom.

  2. Definitely not a solution for everyone. My preference is school choice for all, which would allow parents to decide.

  3. I used to be for school choice, at least within the public sector, since that is how European public schools work. But then I saw the dive of higher ed, which is essentially a choice system, into overpriced mediocrity, and I saw the deluge of really dicy looking charter schools operated by corporations, and I started realizing that this is a model that isn't going to improve U.S. schools. The French and German model is more like our public magnet school model. But we have the problem of local funding and small districts, whereas in France and Germany, schools are national or regional.

  4. By no means do I think school choice is a panacea, but it would improve the lot for a significant number of children and does hold out a possibility for having a widespread positive influence. Many of the children who might suffer from dicey charter schools were probably not receiving much from their traditional public schools.

    I just don't see too much of a downside. But states would need to step up oversight, that's for sure.

  5. And in the meantime, lots of profits will go to the charter management companies...
    I have a friend who works for one of those outfits, and what she tells me is pretty horrifying. They charge high "management" fees to their affiliated schools, and lease out property to them. The schools are non-profit, so people don't realize they are being managed by a for-profit.