A qualitative study was designed to compare and contrast the perspectives of students and parents having experienced schooling in a coeducational setting and a single-gender setting. All students in the study attended a coeducational school prior to attending the single-gender school. The study compared the students' experiences in the coeducational school environment to the single-gender school environment through three lenses: 1) classroom learning, 2) teachers' affect on student learning, and 3) student to student interactions. The research was conducted in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. Four schools participated in the study: two all-female and two all-male. One hundred eighty-one participating students completed a questionnaire and twenty six students were interviewed by the researcher to confirm the student data. A group of parents participated in a questionnaire that was similar to the student questionnaire. The data from all groups correlated in the researcher's findings. In Likert, multiple choice, and open response comparisons, students generally felt that the single-gender school setting was more beneficial to their learning. A large majority of students identified the social dynamic that accompanies a coeducational school population as a major distraction and a hindrance to their learning. Parents of students new to single-gender schools confirmed that the saw a positive affect on their daughter's/son's learning when attending a single-gender school. When sorting for gender, this study found differences in female and male responses. Female students in this study were more comfortable without the presence of males in the classroom and many felt this benefited their learning. Male students in this study felt a stronger connection to their teachers in a single-gender school environment as compared to the coeducational school setting. Finally, even though both genders felt that the single-gender school environment benefited their learning, when asked to design the perfect school for them; most students preferred an evenly balanced coeducational school.
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/06, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational sociology, Secondary education|
|Keywords:||Coeducation, Education, Gender differences, Learning, School, Single-gender|
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