Why Single-Gender Education Works in Middle School
Middle school boys shuttle back and forth between everything. Physically, [they] are antsy. They tap pens, jerk their legs and feet, squirm, gaze around the room and into space while apparently doing little, but doing everything all at once. Emotionally, the students experience wide swings of mood. When they like something, they love it; when they dislike something, they hate it and all of this for only a short season until a new fancy arrives. They don’t want to be weird, therefore, they see weirdness everywhere.
A nationwide study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology confirmed what the majority of studies suggest: at every age, boys in coed schools are less enthusiastic about school than girls are. And, as boys get older, the “enthusiasm gap” widens. The older boys get, the more they tend to perceive doing well in school as “geeky.” At this age, being an “A” student generally does not raise one’s status with other boys, and in fact may lower it.
At Seven Hills we tailor our curriculum to the way boys learn. Our teachers understand that the best way to get boys energized to learn is to keep the classroom personal and lively, with each student involved.
Rigid gender stereotypes are common in traditional school environments. Research consistently shows that boys who attend single-gender middle schools typically do better in terms of maturity and social adjustment, than boys who attend coed schools. It also supports the conclusion that boys in single-gender schools feel more free to be themselves and follow their interests and talents.