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Single-sex classes in co-educational schools


Wills, R and Kilpatrick, SI and Hutton, BR, Single-sex classes in co-educational schools, British Journal of Sociology of Education, 27, (3) pp. 277-291. ISSN 0142-5692 (2006) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/01425690600750452


This research investigated social and academic outcomes from single-sex classrooms in a Tasmanian coeducational government primary school. Interviews, observations and surveys formed the basis of the evidence. Teachers, parents and children reported positive benefits from the class organisation, but these differed according to gender. Staff identified increased confidence and higher self-esteem among girls, whereas boys developed increased motivation and more commitment to schoolwork. Teachers and parents noted that boys' accountability and self-discipline improved. Teachers adopted different strategies from those used with mixed-gender classes and gained higher levels of satisfaction from teaching, attributable to increased children's time 'on task'. Paradoxically, standardised school testing indicated no increase in academic achievements. However, there may be an extended lag between establishing changed social relationships and measurable academic outcomes, suggesting that if the new class structure is to achieve its full potential, it should be established early in primary school and continue to adolescence.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:single-sex classrooms, coeducational schools, gender, benefit
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education policy, sociology and philosophy
Research Field:Sociology of education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Wills, R (Dr Robin Wills)
UTAS Author:Kilpatrick, SI (Professor Sue Kilpatrick)
UTAS Author:Hutton, BR (Ms Biddy Hutton)
ID Code:40131
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2006-08-01
Last Modified:2013-11-25
Downloads:23 View Download Statistics

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