The Effects of Single Gender Versus Coeducational Environments on the Self-Esteem Development and Academic Competence of High School Females

The topic of coeducational versus single gender education has created much discussion and controversy through the years. When looking for environmental benefits for the growth of positive self-esteem development, there has not been a definitive answer to the coeducational versus single gender question. Is one academically superior over the other, when looking at self-esteem development?  I recently published an Ebook based on my research in this area.  It may be of interest to educators within the high school setting or for parents trying to decide between single gender and coeducational schools for their daughters.

Adolescent Females and the Classroom Experience

Researchers have hypothesized that children will respond positively or negatively to a given environment, based on the praise or punishment received. Many of us would call this observational learning.  Often, people are reinforced or punished for modeling the behavior of others.  For adolescents, they quickly learn the acceptable norms for their behavior by observing peers around them. The classroom quickly because a microcosm for society among this age group. Researchers have suggested that if an adolescent female is criticized for speaking out in a classroom, she will not speak out again.  Once other female students observe this negative interaction with the teacher, they, too, will not speak out. The lines of division between what is acceptable for males and females become increasingly apparent and females begin to see dissimilar treatment of boys and girls in the classroom.  Many females can retreat and became docile or almost invisible in a classroom setting. Therefor, it’s important for parents to have open conversations with their daughters about school.  Asking “how was school today?” may not be enough.  Parents may need to dig a little deeper.