The pros and cons of same-sex education

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The pros and cons of same-sex education

Parents often ask me whether they should consider single-sex schooling for their sons or for their daughters. I always try to go back to, do we have research that supports an answer, one way or the other. This is a field where there is quite significant research. I'll try to encapsulate it quickly. If you look at all the research in the last 20 years, it basically says, if you have a girl, you might want to consider a girl school experience at some point in her life. If you have a boy, the research supports co-education for boys. The why of that is interesting. Girls, in general, who spend some time in a single sex setting, tend to have better self-esteem, better achievement in the present and throughout life. Boys attend co-ed schools tend to do better in terms of social development, language development, and social savviness I suppose would be the the best way of describing that. There is a differential in the support. Yes, for girls; no, for boys. I always end by saying, the quality of the teacher and the quality of the school has more to do with it than whether it is single-sex or co-ed.

See JoAnn Deak, PhD's video on The pros and cons of same-sex education...


Expert Bio

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JoAnn Deak, PhD

Psychologist & Author

JoAnn Deak, PhD, has spent more than 30 years as an educator and psychologist, helping children develop into confident and competent adults. The latter half of that period has also focused on working with adults, parents and teachers in their roles as guides or ‘neurosculptors’ of children. On her website is a quote that best describes her perspective on her work: “every interaction a child has, during the course of a day, influences the adult that child will become.”

Parents and educators at schools from New York to Hawaii, as well as such organizations as the National Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of Independent Schools, the Association of International Schools, the American Montessori Society and the International Baccalaureate Association, have heralded Dr. Deak’s ability to demystify complex issues of child development, learning, identify formation and brain research.

Dr. Deak has been an advisor to Outward Bound, a past chair of the National Committee for Girls and Women in Independent Schools, on the advisory board for the Center on Research for Girls (Laurel School), for the Seattle Girls’ School, Bromley Brook School, the Red Oak School, Power Play and GOAL. She consults with organizations and schools across the United States. Most recently, she has worked internationally with schools, organizations, associations and parent groups in every continent (except Antarctica!) She has been awarded the Woman of Achievement Award by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, was given the first Female Educator of the Year Award by Orchard House School, and the Outstanding Partner for Girls Award from Clemson University. She has been named the Visiting Scholar in New Zealand, the Visiting Scholar for Montessori Children’s House and has been the Resident Scholar for the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute in Colorado Springs for the past five years.

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