In trying to put myself in the position of the new director of Dana Hall Elaine Betts, the question that must be addressed to the mission review committee is should Dana Hall embrace co-education as opposed to single-sex education for their all girl boarding school? Right now it appears that given how strong some of the individuals in leadership feel as well as the teachers of the school that Dana Hall should remain a single-sex educational system. Elaine Betts must submit to the mission review committee the pros and cons of the issue so they can make a solid decision based on all the facts.
What follows are the results of her research. Claims for Single-Sex Education According to Education Bug (2011) there are some important claims made for single-sex over co-ed education to help one know the possible advantages and issues are. As you read, keep in mind that there are true believers arguing on both sides of this issue, and that the best school is one that is a good match for a particular child at a particular time of their life (p. 1). First boys and girls learn differently.
It has been proven that girls and boys have different patterns of brain development, brain processing is different, and in specific has a different relationship to the center of emotion. They also have differentiated hearing sensitivity and respond to stress in different ways and that their differences can best be responded to by differentiating their instruction and learning environment (Education Bug, 2011, p. 1). Some studies have shown that both male and female students who have been educated in single-sex environments have a stronger preference for subjects that are stereotypically aligned with the opposite sex.
Teachers also may treat girls differently from boys in math, science, and computer related classes, giving them less attention and fewer learning opportunities. This kind of favoritism would be impossible in a single-sex classroom (Education Bug, 2011, p. 1). Simply put co-ed settings encourage gender stereotypes. The idea here that teachers may have some stereotypes on what such should only be taught heavily to one sex over another. For example some may believe that math and cience should be taught more to boys than girls and that music or art should be taught more to girls than to boys (Education Bug, 2011, p. 1).
Another benefit of single-sex settings are that they have been shown to improve classroom behavior. This is because girls mature earlier than boys, in a class by themselves they are relieved of the consequences of the acting out that boys of the same age may engage in (Education Bug, 2011, p. 1). Social pressures around the behavior of dating are lessen in a single-sex environment vs. co-ed environment because such behaviors as showing off, preening and carrying on social behaviors during academic instruction are not necessary because there is no need to impress the anyone of the opposite sex because everyone are the same (Education Bug, 2011, p. 1).
Reasons against Single-Sex Educations Single-sex schools limits their students the opportunity to witness and adjust to different learning styles. Here the premise is that male and female students can learn from each other’s approaches and learn to collaborate, each bringing their style to bear in working for common goals.
This is claimed as an important learning opportunity by advocates of co-education (Education Bug, 2011, p. 1). Since society is both made of male and female and each sex have to interact with each other in the workplace and in the home, the advantage of having a mixed environment is that it can help the different genders be able to be understood before having to deal with each other in real life situations. Here each student can learn to deal with the social issues that arise in mixed company rather than avoiding them (Education Bug, 2011, p. ).
According to Education Bug (2011) another disadvantage of singe-sex educational is that because they have not been around as long as other co-ed institutions they might not have the experience of dealing with U. S. Department of Education legislation and because of that might short change their students from being able to get the necessary help that they need to become successful in life (p. 2).
Also most single-sex schools do not have the resources to accommodate pecial needs students because most times their teachers are not trained in special education, or their focus is not on trying to deal with that type of clientele. So in deciding should the school remain a single-sex institution depends on what the needs of the parents are within the community, what the core values of the school are, and how do they plan to meet the needs of each of their students. It should never be totally about the money because if they provide a good quality education parents will be willing to finance their children’s education.
However it appears that because of Dana Hall’s core values that they would do better to stay with a single-sex educational system. However they do need to solicit help from their parents, teachers, and alumnae. Through their help they might be able to come up with new subjects and interests, as well as various fund-raisers that they can do to help to raise the necessary funds to keep the school afloat. That way everyone can remain happy and content.