Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Single-sex education unlikely to offer advantage over coed schools, research finds

Date:
February 3, 2014
Source:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Summary:
Single-sex education does not educate girls and boys any better than coed schools, according to research analyzing 184 studies of more than 1.6 million students from around the world.

Single-sex education does not educate girls and boys any better than coed schools, according to research published by the American Psychological Association analyzing 184 studies of more than 1.6 million students from around the world. The findings are published online Feb. 3 in the APA journal Psychological Bulletin.

"Proponents of single-sex schools argue that separating boys and girls increases students' achievement and academic interest," said author Janet Shibley Hyde, PhD, of University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Our comprehensive analysis of the data shows that these advantages are trivial and, in many cases, nonexistent."

A separate analysis of just U.S. schools had similar findings. Researchers also looked at studies that examined coed schools that offered single-sex instruction in certain subjects and found no significant benefits for boys or girls in these cases.

Some studies showed modest benefits for both boys and girls in math performance in single-sex schools, but not for science performance. However, these advantages in math were not evident in studies with more rigorous research methods.

The analysis, funded by the National Science Foundation, included studies of K-12 schools published from 1968 to 2013. Among the studies, 57 used stronger research methods, such as studies in Trinidad and Tobago and Korea that randomly assigned thousands of students to single-sex or coed schools and tracked their outcomes. Other examples of more rigorous studies controlled for pre-existing differences between students, such as testing students before and after they enrolled in either a single-sex or coed institution. The total sample included 1,663,662 participants in 21 countries. The studies examined students' performance and attitudes in math and science; verbal skills; and attitudes about school, gender stereotyping, aggression, victimization and body image. They did not find sufficient evidence to show any difference in these attitudes between boys and girls in single-sex or coed classrooms.

Theories that single-sex education may be better for students have included the idea that without boys in the classroom, girls would be able to thrive in traditionally male-dominated subjects, such as math and science. "The theoretical approach termed 'girl power' argues that girls lag behind boys in some subjects in coed classrooms," said co-author Erin Pahlke, PhD, of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash. "This is not supported by our analysis and, moreover, girls' educational aspirations were not higher in single-sex schools."

The authors noted the lack of studies on single-sex education among low-income students and ethnic minorities, particularly in the U.S., and recommended further research in these populations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Psychological Association (APA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Erin Pahlke, Janet Shibley Hyde, Carlie M. Allison. The Effects of Single-Sex Compared With Coeducational Schooling on Students’ Performance and Attitudes: A Meta-Analysis.. Psychological Bulletin, 2014; DOI: 10.1037/a0035740

Cite This Page:

American Psychological Association (APA). "Single-sex education unlikely to offer advantage over coed schools, research finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140203093426.htm>.
American Psychological Association (APA). (2014, February 3). Single-sex education unlikely to offer advantage over coed schools, research finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140203093426.htm
American Psychological Association (APA). "Single-sex education unlikely to offer advantage over coed schools, research finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140203093426.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Couples Who Sleep Less Than An Inch Apart Might Be Happiest

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study by British researchers suggests couples' sleeping positions might reflect their happiness. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins