Single gender classrooms are developing renewed interest.
Multiple studies about single gender classrooms suggest that students achieve better outcomes by certain educational metrics with one of them being single gender classrooms.
This article will discuss some best practices for being a teacher in single gender classrooms.
The theory behind single gender classrooms is that boys and girls develop differently.
This leads to differences in learning styles. Later in life, there is practically no difference in brain development between adult men and women. However, there appears to be some differences between young boys and girls.
Here is some relevant research for an educator interested in single gender classrooms.
How long do you think you could sit still and pay attention to a lecture? 50-year-old woman and 50-year-old man have, on average, practically no variation in how long they can sit still. When it comes to six-year-old boys and six-year-old girls, however, the story is very different. On average, a six-year-old boy can sit still, be quiet and pay attention for about half as long as a typical six-year-old girl. In general, female brains develop faster than male brains.
So if you have a class of six-year-old boys, you probably want to make the lesson a little more active than you would if you had a class of six-year-old girls.
The combination of biology and socialization means that you as a teacher should approach subjects differently with boys and girls. This doesn’t mean, however, that you need to “dumb the material down.”
Let’s take the subject of algebra. With boys, it’s more effective to begin with the abstract and then moved to the concrete. With girls, it is best begin with the concrete and then move to the abstract.
A boy friendly algebra question would begin with a question like “If x + 3y =100, and 2x + y = 60, solve for x and y.” A girl friendly algebra problem would begin by asking “If a blouse and three sweaters cost $100, and two blouses and one sweater cost $60, how much does one blouse and one sweater cost?”
As you can see, the material has not been dumbed down at all. Gender considerations have just been taken into account so that the material is taught most effectively. Instead of taking on a one-size-fits-all model, you are moving towards giving your students what they need the most: a “customized” education.
There has been quite a bit of research done on best teaching practices for single gender classrooms. If you’re interested in learning more, the website to begin your search is at the National Association for Single Sex Public Education. They have a lot of great resources for educators and parents wanting to learn more about single gender classrooms.
More about single gender classrooms.