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Boys, girls, both? Estragon launches Topic!!

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posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 10:37 AM
What are your opinions on single-sex as opposed to mixed education?
My daughter, Elinor, sent me this to-day from her college: "St Hilda's votes to keep men out Education: Oxford University's last all-female college opts not to admit men."

As a 19-year old she sent a Guardian link (Impressionable adolescent Liberal!..aaarrrgh...); but it's all over the Brit "qualities".
She only went up last September and is a "Lilac Lady" and this is her first taste of voting ( probably her last, if Blair continues) and first time in the news -albeit anonymously.
She went to a single-sex school (she won a scholarship; but I'd have paid) and I did the same. After too many years in the racket -and based on my own teens - I still believe single-sex is preferable in terms of academic delivery.
But, I know I was socially retarded (as far as the opposite sex was concerned) when I left school and went up to the University.
Do fellow-posters have views on single-sex or "co-ed" education.

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 10:47 AM
An Ex Girlfriend left me to go to St Hildas(wipes tears from eyes)

I have no problem with it except most single sex schools are affiliated to a Religion.

Parental choice.And St Hildas?It's right on the river as I remember.Lovely College.

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 10:53 AM
It's newish (in Oxonian terms) of course, but it is a lovely college J-B. No religious affiliations beyond the C of E ( scarcely religious more an aesthetic decision); and she was not too susceptible to parental choice.
It was however, a choice (hers) - not this ghastly common application thing the colleges have been reduced to. Mind you, after seven years at a Girls' School -she might have been playing safe.
What was your secondary school ( not name, but single or mixed?)

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 11:06 AM
Mixed Comprehensive.

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 11:11 AM
And, J-B, to address one of my points, did you -or do you -feel it made you "socially" more at ease in the adult world?
Or let us not be coy - less inept in the company of the superior sex; or, for that matter, a social mix?


posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 11:12 AM
I went to a mixed comp. My parents did consider sending me to a single sex private school but decided I was already enough of a social retard and needed a good balance of peers.

I don't have a problem with single sex education - think it has it's pros and cons, depending much on the nature of the child

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 11:20 AM
on balance, do you think it helped you "academically"?


posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 11:26 AM
hmmm I'm not totally sure as I don't really have anything to compare it with. I remember that particularly during the last few years of high school, the boy/girl combination was slightly problematic in the maths and science classes I took. Whereas in a 3 day all girl physics seminar I participated in, none of the girls felt self concious.

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 11:34 AM
Sciences and maths were among the things I had in mind: you scarcely see a girl in Maths A-Level classes (12-13th grade) in many mixed schools.
Although my daughter is on the Arts side, her girls' school had very strong Sums & Stinks.
you referred to "social misfit" aspects of your good self. have you since had the chance to compare yourself to ladies who went to single-sex schools, in a "social sense"?

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 11:41 AM
It's very difficult to say,having not experience both.To be frank,I was socially enept with girls through almost all of my school life.If going to a single sex school would of made it worse,then God help me.

Statistically,single sex schools have a better academic record because in general they are private.The fact that there were 30 to a class,Stand-in teachers,a teachers strike,and,because State schools must accommodate everyone,a wider interllectual band in the raw material(Pupils).effected my education more than whether it was mixed.

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 11:43 AM
great topic Estragon - my oldest just started 'school'

In retrospect, I would have preferred a same sex school. In my case, the social life was all too important to me and most all others (This, in what we call 'High school') chasing girls, parties, and clothes were more important than grades. Academics suffered greatly.

Now, there arenít really any same sex schools, at any level, that I could send my children to. My 5 year old goes to a private school, uniform and all. Yet, itís mixed. Itís the same school my wife went to and they used to, at least, segregate students out of the classroom. I guess I just wish there were still same sex schools available ñ seems they are all integrated these days.

I would think the social challenges presented by a same-sex school would be even more prevelant in a student that was home schooled?


posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 11:43 AM
when I did my a-levels, there were only 2 girls in the entire physics class, with about half and half in the maths and chemistry. However the girls did proportionally better in the exams..

It was similar at degree level too - 10% female on my engineering course, although we did about the same as the males in the final exams.

I haven't had a huge opportunity to compare myself since with girls who had a single sex education. I do remember encountering them when younger and they seemed extremely confident, but that may have been due to their middle class backgrounds as much as the school environment. I do think that my ability to not really treat gender as an issue and to be able to act both 'girlie' and like a honourary bloke, was helped by my mixed sex education. Partly cos I don't have brothers and my father's job meant he was away for much of my childhood

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 11:50 AM
Certainly, single-sex schools tend to be "selective" in all manner of ways (beyond the obvious) and largely private (there are Muslim girls' schools in the state sector in the UK nowadays, such is progress).
I suspect single-sex also helps sports.
But, in general, states have chosen to adopt -or impose -a "mixed" model. One imagines this has some sort of "social" end in mind.
Did you meet more "rich or poor", "black or white" there: and was that beneficial?
Did you ever feel "enginered". As an example, I went to secondary school with a West Midlands (Black Country) accent that you could have sliced with a depleted-uranium shell.
Since school, I have sounded almost lamentably "posh".
believe me, it just happened.

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 12:04 PM
State schools are generally mixed because it is cheaper to build one set of facilities for any one catchment area.I went to a school in Hamble,near Southampton.I don't think the social make up of the school was normal even for State school in the Southampton area.Yet academically it was comparable.

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 12:13 PM
I have to admit your description of High School sounds rather more tempting: it wasn't on the menu.
So, when I could have been cutting a rug and broadening my knowledge of underwear, I was mastering Attic Greek.
I know, a lot later, which I think was better: but (given one can choose, or afford to choose) what about the parents' will as regards the child. I went for "academic". "sheltered". "decent" ( cut 'em apart ad lib, cyberchums). was that for Mum and Dad, or her?

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 12:50 PM
I am in my first year at university, and those who went to single sex schools are so easy to spot. The girls act wierd around men and vice versa. They cannot socialise in mixed groups well.

The men are by far the worst tho, they drink til they puke, they have temper tantrums and are generally extremely immature.

Growing up in mixed groups is essential, and I know when I have kids they will be educated with the opposite sex, and have girlfriends/boyfriends and all that stuff. Growing up isn't just an academic thing, it's a life experience thing.

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 01:07 PM
Est, The public schools I went to were as fine as they come. Lots of opportunity. I grew up in decent suburban cities (money) - way different than, say, Cleveland Public schools. Which aren't too far from me. Cleveland was a test bed of sorts for school vouchers, btw. However, you mentioned 'engineering' - probably the greatest problem with the schools I went to, were the schools themselves: too politically correct, no discipline, no punishment, etc, etc. We had an ëalternative schoolí for the delinquents. (Though no one would dare call them that). That, in addition to the ësocial availabilityí is an accident waiting to happen. Many of my friends that I went to school with most of my life, which were very, very bright, simply blew it in high school ñ they gave meaning to the word ëhighí in high school.

Interestingly enough ñ as far ëshelteredí and ëdecentí goes ñ the private school that my wife went to offered that. This was a Kindergarten though 8th grade school ñ she then went to my public high school (thatís where we met). My high school graduating class produced 9 ëvaledictoriansí of which all (except 1 I believe) had gone to school with my wife at her k-8 private school prior to the public high school. (My wife was one of the 9). And her k-8 school was very small compared to the other public schools that put student into our high school. (and many of the student in that private school went on to private high schools)

Granted, itís just an example, part of my little world here, BUT ëgoodí and ëdecentí seems to produce better students in my opinion.

[Edited on 12-3-2003 by Bob88]

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 01:20 PM
Statistically singles sexed schools are good for girls and bad for boys.

Good for girls as they get to focus on their studies wihtout the competition for boys and the distraction of relationships. They succeed and flourish in a single sexed environment, the roles of the boys as sporting heros etc also get to be taken by girls which leads to a well rounded charactor.

Bad for boys because they need a 'weaker' person to use as a judge for their own masculinity. So the nerds get classed as psuedo girls and so subjected to bullying etc more. Male culture is distorted to begin with and that distortion is emphasised by having male only groups- where boys think being 'men' involves drinking, smoking, fighting, etc etc, without the moderating aspect of females.

Boys need girls as a mirror to see their own masculinity.

Boys also need more training in socially acceptable socialization, wheras girls tend to pick that up easier.

I would have no worries about sending a girl to a single sexed school, but I would seriously look at it for boys, so that there was some sort of organized 'female socialization' stratagies.

Having seen the bullying at a prestigious single sexed boy school here it is concerning.

May I congratulate Estragon in this world class step into to creating a new thread

[Edited on 12-3-2003 by Netchicken]


posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 01:29 PM
life itself is not segregated, so in a way it does seem a little unrealistic to treat education any differently. I can appreciate the points put forward for single sex education, and in some cases agree with them, but there is the concern that it will affect a child's social development.

Maybe we need to look at the entire upbringing of a child both in and out of school. For example I grew up in a very rural area with few children in my own village - school was often the best chance I got to socialise! I am aware that not everyone was such a sad case, but do those of you who send your children to single sex schools ensure that they have mixed sex activities (youth clubs, adventure scouts, music lessons) outside school?

posted on Mar, 12 2003 @ 02:31 PM
the learning of social interaction with those of the opposite sex (both on a sexual and respect level) is far more important than eliminating the distraction factor...

I'd rather see the distraction factor handled more by school uniforms (in my state, the kids are allowed to wear shorts to school now...that would've killed me as an adolescent male, and I never would've gotten any work done, hehe....)
Anyhow, I think it also takes a lot of pressure off of the whole name-brand wearing bit, etc. if all are wearing uniforms. I think it's a better solution than separating the sexes...

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