St. George's School
There has been lots of research and debates done on whether or not single sex schools help students excel more in an academic environment. There have been multiple studies done to show evidence that it helps students academically, but do single sex schools hinder the students socially with the other sex?
A great benefit of single sex schooling is that they create a more comfortable environment for students to work and learn in. Students are not side tracked by relationships within school and being in an environment of the same sex creates opportunities to not feel pressured and students feel free to try all assortments of activities. An example of this was told by Mr. Sauer, a counsellor at St. George’s. “I think the greatest part about it is that boys feel free to try anything they want. A great example of that was when I used to teach ceramics and there were these 3 boys who were in class making beautiful vases with roses on them for Mother’s Day while talking about how they wanted to crush Carson Graham in rugby the next day. I think it takes off pressure to do the “manly” activities and they can branch out and try new things without being pressured.”
It is not uncommon in co-ed schools for students to refrain from trying new things in fear of being judged by the other sex. This incredible aspect of single sex schooling; being able to feel free to try all different types of activities, cannot be fully replicated in a co-ed environment.
When asked if going to a single sex school can create awkwardness with the opposite sex, all the students interviewed that go to a single sex school said it does. “Yes it does create awkwardness with the opposite sex because we have limited interaction with boys so therefore we don’t have much experience being around them.” Said Charlotte Lindsay, a grade 10 student at York House, an all-girls school in Vancouver.
This lack of interaction with the other sex can have consequences later in life. The majority of students will go to a co-ed university which could be a hard transition for students who have grown up in a single sex academic environment.
Single sex schools have different effects on every individual. Some may excel in the pressure-free environment and become involved in a variety of activities, and others may struggle interacting with the opposite gender and therefore struggle later on in life within a co-ed environment. There will never be an end to the debate of whether or not single sex or co-ed schooling is better because every individual will deal with the struggles and benefits of both single-sex and co-ed environments.
Below is the full interview answers from all three interviewees. Be sure to take a look.
Do you think that going to a single sex school creates awkwardness with the opposite sex?
Anson: Yes because we have less interactions with girls, if we see a girl we may not know how to talk to them or approach them, causing awkwardness basically.
Mr. Sauer: For boys that have outside of school activities, not as much because they are able to interact with girls through those types of activities, however for students who don’t participate in outside school activities, and just go home every day, they tend to develop difficulties interacting with girls.
Charlotte: Yes it does create awkwardness with the opposite sex because we have limited interaction with boys so therefore we don’t have much experience being around them which can affect us when we move into co-ed environments (university, college, etc.)
Do you think going to a single sex school creates a more comfortable academic environment to learn in?
Anson: Yes, definitely. Because nowadays guys and girls are really into dating and dating will definitely cause problems with our academics because we get easily distracted to the relationship and we forget what our first priority is (academics).
Mr. Sauer: I think the greatest part about it is that boys feel free to try anything they want. A great example of that was when I used to teach ceramics and there were these 3 boys who were in class making beautiful vases with roses on them for Mother’s Day while talking about how they wanted to crush Carson Graham in rugby the next day. I think it takes off pressure to do the “manly” activities and they can branch out and try new things without being pressured.
Charlotte: girl schools offer less emphasis on what you look like and wear, creating a more focused environment as well as a more comfortable environment, and girls aren’t susceptible to sexism.