Single sex eduxation

ktimms at postmaster ktimms at postmaster
Thu Jun 20 11:46:13 EST 1996

Hi all,

I also went to a single sex high school - which in the city in New Zealand
where I grew up was the norm rather than the exception. I have only good
things to say about the benefits of this kind of education. I felt that my
training in the maths and sciences was extremely good at high school and this
feeling was reinforced when I went to univeristy and discovered that I had
pretty much covered the first year chemistry and maths curriculum the year
before during my final year of school. One interesting phenomenon that I also
experienced in the last two years of high school was a influx of students
from some of the co-ed schools in the city - the main reason given was that
these girls and their parents felt that their training in the sciences was
being neglected at the co-ed schools they had previously attended.

As far as my ability to interact with males is concerned - I don't feel that
there was any negative impact due to attending a single sex high school. I
grew up in a house with an older brother and his endless hordes of male
friends, I attended plenty of extracurricular sports and social events where
males were present. But, while at school I was able to concentrate on my
studies and getting good grades in an atmosphere that encouraged me to excel
and to pursue the subjects in which I showed the greatest aptitude. My first
experience of sexism in an academic environment came after I started
university and I must admit to being completely stunned that negative
attitudes about womens abilities to do science even existed. In fact the only
negative I can think of regarding my attending a single sex school is that my
lack of exposure to sexism left me ill-prepared to deal with it when I did
encounter it. Mind you, I think that at 18 I was much more able to cope than
if I had encountered negative reactions to my desire to pursue a scientific
career at the age of 13. 


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