Single sex eduxation

jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu
Wed Jun 19 15:56:54 EST 1996


I would like to comment on the post regarding single sex education....I went to an all girls high school...the idea being that you would get better math and
science education by going to a single sex school where the teachers would 
focus only on teaching women all subjects...no guys to interfer. Nice idea
unfortunately I think what several studies have found and what I personally
experienced....many single sex school also discriminate against women in
math and science...in spite of their committment to combat this trend.
Math and science courses at some single sex school do get more attention to
women (since that's all the students the teachers have) however the courses
in math and sciences are taught at a lower level....are not as difficult...
there is a conscious or unconscious attitude that women aren't as able to
compete at a high level...we just won't get it. *sigh* In my high school, we
had AP HIstory, AP ENglish (several classes) AP Spanish, AP French.....NO
AP math chemistry, physics etc...we did have AP biology. The whole science 
department consisted of two teachers. We had a class called "Calculus" and
because we did I got placed in an honors Calculus class in college...which I
promptly got low C's in...because as I realized later...what was called
"Calculus" in my high school was actually a lower form of Pre-Calculus.
Likewise, I found myself ill prepared for the level of the chemistry
in college. This is not a good way to start out college...not to mention
the transition from all female to co-ed...."protected" yearlier just 
means more of a shock later....better to compete and learn to demand
attention earlier....get use to the co-ed educational system...learn
to fight within the system...because more "help" and "attention" may just
be another form of special education...by identifying ourselves
as different...we may be categorizing ourselves as not as intelligent
needing more specialized education, needed the obstacles lowered. And
when the real world comes along, we'll  have to catch-up....I think
single sex education in the best of all world could be very helpful
unfortunately the prejudices and biases and stereotypes of women are very
deep...in men and in ourselves...and need to design the system very
carefully...separate but equal ...is not often true.

Jen



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