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No benefit to single-sex education, says professor

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The Educator | 14 Sep 2016, 10:00 AM Agree 0
“We don't have sex segregated workplaces so why do we have sex segregated schools?” asks a psychology professor.
  • Warren Melville | 18 Sep 2016, 08:34 AM Agree 0
    While the research arguments most likely stand and I don't disagree with the overall conclusion, from my years teaching in both single sex and co-ed schools, the argument that 'we don't have sex segregated workplaces so why do we have sex segregated schools' seems unusually facile and thin, particularly placed as your headline attention grabber. The answer seems very clear. Firstly, the workforce isn't comprised of 7 year olds (for obvious reasons) and therefore this is a non-functioning backwards design argument in my opinion. The workforce aren't expected to line up outside their offices at the start of the day nor do they (in general terms) have a work day that starts at 9:00am and finishes at 2:55pm. I could go on. Schools are schools with particular goals and objectives and the workforce is the workforce with particular goals and objectives. Schools should of course prepare students for the workforce (and much more besides) but let's face it, there's no swelling bank of research data telling a harrowing story of the inability of single sex educated students to take their place positively in the workforce. Life is co-ed, kids work it out. Let's not get carried away if for some a single sex education is the choice. Having worked in both, there are certainly advantages in a single sex environment in the schools context, just as there are in co-ed.
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