Co-Education vs. Single-Sex Classes
The changed attitude of boys and girls towards education has always been a matter of great concern for society. There was a time when the girls were less interested in education, or the societal conditions did not work in their favor, due to which they had to get married and look after their homes. So, there was a greater number of male students in the educational institutes, which later became part of the workforce. In the present time, the situation has altered in the way that there is a greater number of female students in the educational institutes, as well as in the workforce. Women are now playing an effective role in the progress of society by heading the organizations and managing the homes as well. On the other hand, the boys have become careless and are not interested in getting a higher education, due to which there are quite fewer men in the workforce, who reach to the leading positions of some organization. The researchers are of the view that the change has not emerged just randomly; however, the educational system is playing an important role in giving rise to such conditions. The society has divided opinion regarding the matter of co-education and same-sex education, at the moment because researchers are of the view that the educational environment shapes the priorities and the attitude of the students. The same-sex education may seem a stronger point, as it enables the students of two genders to get equal recognition in the class, however, co-education is a better strategy because it gives rise to competition and provides the chance to girls and boys to show their potential at the same level.
Co-education was considered a natural part of the educational system. However, the researchers started challenging this notion when they observed the change in the attitude of the students. The female students were flourishing and making progress; however, the male students were losing their interest in education and school. They were being overshadowed due to the excellent performance of the female students. So the researcher presented the point that same-sex education or same-sex classes are the solutions, which would enable the boys to be equally recognized. They would not be compared to the performance of the female students and would get the chance of depicting their potential. Intini argued in his article that “The same-sex model also takes away some of the pressures that occur when you get boys and girls together. “The boys can feel proud of their poetry, they can act and sing, they can join cooking clubs,” says Ian Robinson, the principal at Sterling (Intini, 69: 1.1).” So, the proponents of the same sex- classes or education are of the view that the girls and boys should not be forced to study in the same setting, as they have different attitude, preferences, and style, and they feel pressurized when compared to each other. There are chances that they conceal their interests and preferences due to the fear of being stigmatized. The same-sex class would provide them the opportunity of depicting their true self while not being overshadowed by the students of the other gender.
The same-sex classes hinder a healthy competition among the male and female students which is an essential part of life. The school or other educational institutes are just the training centers for the students, which guide them how they should present themselves in professional life. The same-sex education takes away their chance of competing with the other gender. It cannot be said the abilities of girls or boys are overshadowed because of co-education. Males and females are the basic units of society, and they both have to become part of the workforce after completing their education. If the boys or girls are unable to depict their potential in the co-education, then how they would be able to perform better in the work environment where males and females have to work together. The co-education is their opportunity of developing their skills and competing with each other, in a healthy manner. According to Kimmel “Single-sex classes reinforce harmful stereotypes about boys and girls. A 2011 article in the journal Science concluded that "sex-segregated education is deeply misguided, and often justified by weak, cherry-picked, or misconstrued scientific claims rather than by valid scientific evidence (Kimmel, 2: 1. 6).” So, the same sex classes or education cannot be supported, just because it overshadows the students. Same-Sex education actually stigmatizes the students and lays the foundation of discrimination for whole life. The instructors or the researchers should work on developing the strategies of encouraging the students, instead of advocating the same sex classes.
The male and female population are the two important units of society, and they have to live together while sharing society. If the male or female students are being overlooked or overshadowed in the educational setting, there is no guarantee that they would not feel the same after becoming a part of the workforce. Moreover, the workplaces would not be segregated in order to ensure that the people of one gender are not being overshadowed by the people of the other gender. Co-education provides equal opportunities of progress to all the students while enabling them to compete with each other on a healthy level. This is their chance of learning and getting the training for the future. However, if it would be snatched from them, in order to provide them favorable circumstances, they would always seek favorable circumstances, instead of accepting the challenge and exploring their potential. The researchers argued in their article that “The challenge of providing effective school and classroom organizational structures demonstrates that this issue is as complex as many others in education. There are advantages and disadvantages for both girls and boys in single-sex schooling (Wills, Kilpatrick, & Hutton, 280: 6. 1).” The co-education institutes provide the male and female students with the opportunity of making progress and depicting their potential at the same level. There is no such thing that the female students are preferred over the male or vice versa, so there is no need to give a boost to discrimination and stigmatization by advocating the same sex education (Wills, Kilpatrick, & Hutton, 2006).
Co-education or the same sex education is among one of the most controversial issues of modern society. The society, on the one hand, argues about not discriminating the women against men or vice versa and argues about the overshadowing of the students of either gender on the other hand. Same-sex education is not the solution of attracting the boys towards school and education; however, it just stigmatizes the genders that they are not able to perform due to the excellence of the students of another gender. While the same-sex education provides the opportunity of flourishing in the favorable conditions, the co-education provides the training of performing better in any kind of situation and setting. Co-educational strategy not only provides equal opportunities of progress to the students of other genders but also provide the opportunity of challenging themselves and exploring their potentials. It is the best strategy of training the students for the future, so it should not be eliminated from society.
Intini, J. (2010). Are we raising our boys to be underachieving men? MacLean’s, 123(41), 67-71.
Kimmel, M. (2014). Don't segregate boys and girls in classrooms. CNN. 1-3.
Wills, R., Kilpatrick, S., & Hutton, B. (2006). Single‐sex classes in co‐educational schools. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 27(3), 277-291.
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