Co-ed versus Single-Sex Schools

Educating their children well enough to help them live successful lives is one of the most important things parents do. With the staggering number of factors to take into consideration it is also one of the toughest decisions they have to take. One of these factors is whether they should enroll their children in a coed or a single-sex school. Both these systems have advantages and disadvantages and the final decision rests in the hands of the parents.

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Coed and single-sex schools both have their advocates citing scientific studies trying to prove which method of schooling most benefits students but this in fact depends on the personality of an individual child and how he/she adapts to various situations. The most common reason given for the favourability of single-sex schools is the freedom from distraction the presence of the opposite sex causes. Most studies rest on the premise that the reactions of sexes to one another prevents students from concentrating completely in classes and also proves to be a hindrance in the development of ones full potential.

Young students in elementary school are usually wary of the other sex and consider them enemies while puberty struck teenagers struggle with raging hormones and progressive sexual developments. Both these cases highlight the distractive nature of coed schools. Students are extremely conscious of how their peer from the other sex view them and respond in a different manner in class than they would if free of this constant need to impress. On the other hand some students take this need to impress in a competitive spirit and work even harder to establish their prowess over others.

Contrary to this, single-sex schools are usually observed to be more strict and focused on education and are more competitive. They provide students with an environment that is free of stereotypical gender bias. For instance, girls cannot do well at subjects such as mathematics or science while boys are weak at grasping languages. It encourages students to take up subjects they are interested in while the teachers egg them on with their discipline.

One major drawback in the single-sex school system that advocates of coed institutes point out is the lack of exposure to real life situations. Students have to finally live in a world where they have to exist with both sexes. While coeds prepare them with social graces, single-sex schools might cocoon them in a comfort zone that they may find hard to break out of. This is not to say that all the students in single-sex institutions are socially awkward. As mentioned earlier it depends almost entirely on how each students responds to the situation he/she is put in.

In the end it becomes the duty of the parents to decide on the course of action based on how their child performs in a certain environment. And evaluate his/her needs. A child’s response to varying situations is indicative of their future performance and need to be taken into account while deciding which schooling system to opt for.

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