Education

Kid’s don’t learn better in single-sex classrooms

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/02/11/kids-dont-learn-better-in-single-sex-classes-meta-analysis/

Valerie Strauss at the Washington Post discusses a new meta-analysis (a review of other studies) about single-gender education.

Spoiler Alert: The study shows no statistically significant difference.

2 thoughts on “Kid’s don’t learn better in single-sex classrooms

  1. I find this pretty interesting because the headline makes it sound like there was definitely no benefit and yet the article reports “mixed effects, but generally a positive conclusion for single-sex classrooms in short-run academic outcomes. There was no indication of a boost to longer-term outcomes.” The article goes on to say that “the authors place considerable emphasis on the problem of control in this research. They end up concluding that, with proper controls, analyses show that single-sex classrooms don’t help students much.” And yet, it also states, “In controlled studies, there were statistically reliably, but numerically quite modest positive effects of single-sex classrooms for both boys and girls in mathematics achievement, science achievement, and verbal achievement.” I do appreciate that they acknowledge that there are many other factors to be considered. In other words, we don’t know what we don’t know. Imagine that. 🙂

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    1. Phillip, you make some great points. My take was that, when you control for the lack of randomness in students at many single-gender schools, there is only a small difference in educational outcomes (or at least test scores).

      I think that we can both attest to other advantages of the all-boys environment. Personally, I think that it’s a positive thing for adolescent boys. But, I don’t think that the case can be made for test-score-based justifications.

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