Essay about Number of Single-sex Schools on the Decline

Essay about Number of Single-sex Schools on the Decline

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The fluctuating background of higher education incorporates an ongoing assessment of the significance of single-sex schools. The choice to shift from a single-sex to a coeducational school has become progressively common, with the quantity of all-women’s institutions declining melodramatically in the previous 50 years. The alteration has been deceptive with the change from precisely 230 women’s universities in 1960, diminishing to 90 in 1986, and most lately down to 57 in 2005 (Schwartz, 2103). A key concern for women’s colleges transitioning to coeducation is how the classroom learning environment will change for women—specifically, whether women’s voices will be lost when men are admitted to the institution. Even with this dramatic change in the educational arena, very little empirical research has been conducted on the transition from single-sex to coeducation. Twenty-five years ago, researchers examined classroom participation at Goucher College beginning the first year after the school had become a coeducational institution. However, following their data collection that began in 1987, no additional research on the transition to coeducation has emerged. Although studies on this topic may seem to apply to only the handful of institutions transitioning from single-sex to coeducation, findings from this research are also applicable to elementary, middle, and high schools where many administrators and educators have implemented or are interested in single-sex classroom arrangements. At the same time, the reported benefits of single-sex education remain difficult to tease out from many other factors. Justification for single-sex education is often based on research demonstrating a disadvantage for females in the classroom.
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...nder balance in the classroom. Specifically, as the number of women in the class increased, students perceived the professor to engage in less probing of students for responses. Classroom climate influences the quality of the education a student experiences as well as how they evaluate their professors. The micro-inequalities identified in the classroom seem to emerge from both student and faculty behaviors—both of which create and maintain the classroom climate. Stu- dents and faculty arrive in the classroom with a lifetime of experiences of learning and “doing” gender. The social norms and expectations of women and men play out in the microcosm of the classroom. Over time, the classroom may have evolved from a chilly one for women to a more complex and implicit system of messages and cues regarding gender that influence the learning experience for college students

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