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Benefits and drawbacks of single-sex schools

by Alexa Checklenis, In-Depth Staff

Photo by: Lilly Quaid

Single-sex education is an old trend making its way back into school districts around the world. According to The National Association for Single-Sex Public Education, it is estimated that approximately 400 public schools now offer some form of single-sex education. Schools are incorporating single sex classes into co-ed schools, giving students the opportunity to experience both coed and single sex interactions. Although single-sex schooling is becoming more popular, co-ed classes teach students about social interactions, which will help them in their future professional careers.

Kyle Archibald, junior at Archbishop Mitty, transferred from Bellarmine last year and has experienced the change first hand. “I think that people are more laid back at a same sex school. While this was at first preferred for me, it ended up being counterproductive because people didn’t always treat it like a learning environment,” said Archibald.

Co-ed schools also give students the opportunity to work with a diversity of peers that will be essential to the future. In the real world, people will be cooperating with co-workers of different genders, so it is better to start working with the opposite gender earlier on.

“I think I’ve found a greater accessibility to friendships at a co-ed school. The atmosphere both in the classroom and outside of it is completely different with the addition of both genders. I’ve found that people are more ready to learn and make a connection with others at a co-ed,” said Archibald.

The preference slightly depends on personality, though. A student may be distracted and not fit to learn in an environment with the opposite sex next to them, while another student might learn better by getting a different view of the topic at hand.

“Student diversity suffers at a single sex school. In addition, although it may be easier for students to participate actively and do well academically at a single sex institution, the real world is not single sex. It may prove difficult for students from single sex schools to adjust to a co-ed work atmosphere after they graduate,” according to the University Language Services.

Although the effects on students may not be life-altering, there are definitely aspects that students will not learn at single sex schools as opposed to a co-ed school. Working with peers of diversity and differences will be faced in the workforce and will be necessary to know for the future.