What is the philosophy behind all boys/all girls schools? Are they more rigorous than coed schools? Do they encourage balanced, healthy socialization?

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Laura Burgess Martin, Special needs parent; work in non-profit sector

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This is a great question that I'm going to answer from two different personal experiences.

I attended a liberal arts women's college. (I attended coed public schools through elementary, middle, and high school.) Attending a women's college had never crossed my mind until I received a flyer in the mail from this college the summer before my senior year of high school. I decided to visit the school and it ended up being the only school I applied to. I wouldn't say that my college experience was any more or less rigorous than my friends who attended a coed institution. I would say that my college experience was more focused than my friends who attend a coed institution. No, we didn't spend every hour of the day studying but we had an understanding that we were in college for our education first. Yes, we knew how to have fun. Attending a women's college were some of the best four years of my life.

I once taught at a coed private school that made the decision to split all middle school academic classes into all boys/all girls. The students were extremely skeptical at first but after one week, they loved it. As a chorus teacher who had a co-teacher, my co-teacher and I made the decision to also split our chorus classes. As with their academic classes, the students were very skeptical at first. After one day, they did not want to have a coed class. My co-teacher and I were able to teach each group at their own pace. At the middle school age, the students seemed to have much more confidence being in a single gender class. The girls didn't feel intimidated by the boys and vice versa. We once brought up the idea of putting the class back into a coed class and the students were adamantly opposed so we kept them in single gender classes through middle school.

In college, I had a very healthy social life. I met some of my dearest friends in college. While teaching, the students were well adjusted socially. They were able to see the opposite sex during class changes and during lunch but seemed to be much more focused in classes because of single gender classes.

James Hilton, solution

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Anonymous, Encourage balanced, healthy socialization

The students were extremely skeptical at first but after one week, they loved it. As a chorus teacher who had a co-teacher, my co-teacher and I made the decision to also split our chorus classes. As with their academic classes, the students were very skeptical at first. After one day, they did not want to have a coed class. My co-teacher and I were able to teach each group at their own pace. At the middle school age, the students seemed to have much more confidence being in a single gender class. 1Y0-203 questions and answers

M. Erez Kats, Seattle Language Arts Teacher, Author, and Artist

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I would echo the sentiments of Laura above with regards to students having less distractions and being more focused at single-gender universities. And this certainly does not mean that they have no social-life whatsoever, because they certainly do while they are not in class or studying. I believe this notion is encouraged as being healthy as long as it doesn't interfere with study or a students' health or well-being. Really, the idea of a single-gender school puts the focus on success as a group, and of placing education, almost up on a pedestal, along with the notions of sisterhood or fraternity. The greatest education, (in their minds) is one that is equal to or greater than the students' sense of community. The two go hand-in-hand in fact, and by recognizing and honoring this notion right from the start, these schools believe they have built a kind of respect for the entire process; something they also feel will have been instilled in every student, a sense of pride really, in both your knowledge and your achievements to go side by side with your feelings of brotherhood, sisterhood, and family, whatever the case may be. In terms of rigor, that is still determined by the more academic contingency and administration at the school, but it seems that yes, most of these schools tend to be very rigorous, and with high standards for character and dignity, consistent with all these afore-mentioned qualities of both gender and academic rigor, one that builds and maintains the reputation of the school at the same time.

Carrie Hagen, Nonfiction Writer and Researcher, Teacher

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Hello, I briefly taught at a HS all-boys Catholic prep school. I found the students to be self-motivated, respectful, sound communicators. Having also taught at a co-ed public high school, I did compare them frequently. The curriculum at the public school was just as rigorous as that at the prep school, but it was easier to engage in meaningful discussions at the prep school because of its smaller class sizes and, yes, fewer social distractions. The close bonds among the young men at the private school were evident, as was their school spirit. They definitely had closer relationships with teachers than public school students.

The private school kids did have many social opportunities with girls at a sister prep school, and while I'm not sure how many attended these functions, I know they were popular events.

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