Many research studies have concluded that girls receive a better education when they are in same-sex classes. This is especially true in middle school when girls start wanting to be liked by boys. One of the first things that girls learn is that most boys don’t like girls who are smarter than them or who are better in sports. This may not be true for adult men and woman, but it is more likely the case for children. Boys tend to be more competitive and, losing to a girl is a big blow to a growing self image.
Even if you don’t agree that girls could be affected by changing hormones, there’s another reason why separation by gender is helpful for girls. Another set of research studies have shown that teachers interact with boys more often than girls. Even teachers who believe that they give the same amount of attention to boys and girls have found, when reviewing a video tape of their average day, that they interact with boys more often. And those interactions tend to bring the student to a deeper level of learning. Interactions with girls tend to be on a surface level that do not inspire the student to think at a deeper level.
Besides receiving this attention necessary to help them learn, boys also often take up more of the teacher’s time on negative attention. Whether you want to believe it or not, boys tend to act out more often than girls. Some say this is why teachers call on boys more often than girls as it is a way of keeping a boys attention in the class and away from misbehavior.
When students are separated by gender, girls are given a more even playing field. Teacher interaction evens out so that all girls get the attention they need. And the students can focus on learning, rather than looking good for the boys. There are plenty of opportunities for boys and girls to interact socially outside of the classroom.
I agree that girls and boys have a lot to learn from each other. Students can learn from each other and need to understand the views of the opposite gender. When students are separated by gender, I think time should be made available for students to come back together in a mixed classroom.
While there is a definite benefit for girls to learn in same-sex classrooms, there isn’t as much evidence that it is as beneficial to boys. On the other hand, they haven’t found that grouping students by gender hinders learning for boys. To provide the best environment for learning for all students, girls should have the opportunity for learning without boys in the same class, but there should also be time for mixed-class learning.