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« Reply #30: August 17, 2008, 10:21:47 am »

All the way into college. There's quite a lot of research out there about this. One of the things we talked about a lot in college (where the Wellesley Center for Research on Women does a lot of related research) is how the patterns change when you've got both men and women in a class.

The strength of these types findings has actually made me consider the usefulness of gender segregated classrooms and schools.  In the past, I would have never considered such a thing, but I honestly think girls might receive a better education without boys present.  My only qualm is I fear that funding would become unequal.

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« Reply #31: August 17, 2008, 10:30:10 am »

The strength of these types findings has actually made me consider the usefulness of gender segregated classrooms and schools.  In the past, I would have never considered such a thing, but I honestly think girls might receive a better education without boys present.  My only qualm is I fear that funding would become unequal.

Sperran

Funding is easy to watch.  I'd be more worried about the quality of teachers assigned, with low pay & thus new or poor quality teachers getting assigned to mostly one gender.

Then there is differences in types of classes and activities choosen.  Yeah, equal funding, but the only sports offered to boys will be football (a very expensive sport per player) while girls will get more choices such soccer, field hockey, and other sports that are cheap per player.

Not so much, but also classes.  Girls will get a wider variety of "soft" classes such as English, history, language, etc where the text books don't have to be replaced as often.  Boys will get fewer choices since the courses like chemisty or auto shop are expensive to run with need for lab material and parts.

I think it can be done, and in all to many places it can't be any worse than existing programs.
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« Reply #32: August 17, 2008, 11:43:13 am »

This is not professional act by Walmart . Companies are allowed to lobby for individual candidates for their policies etc but taking it over to the employees is crossing the line .
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« Reply #33: August 17, 2008, 02:07:38 pm »

Funding is easy to watch.  I'd be more worried about the quality of teachers assigned, with low pay & thus new or poor quality teachers getting assigned to mostly one gender.

Then there is differences in types of classes and activities choosen.  Yeah, equal funding, but the only sports offered to boys will be football (a very expensive sport per player) while girls will get more choices such soccer, field hockey, and other sports that are cheap per player.

Not so much, but also classes.  Girls will get a wider variety of "soft" classes such as English, history, language, etc where the text books don't have to be replaced as often.  Boys will get fewer choices since the courses like chemisty or auto shop are expensive to run with need for lab material and parts.

I think it can be done, and in all to many places it can't be any worse than existing programs.


And you will have parents like me SCREAMING because my daughter's school doesn't have the chemistry lab.  And because the boys don't have the drama class or the language class.  Auto shop won't bother me that much.  And I will be screaming when the girls get all the new or low quality teachers, because that IS what would happen.

DOn't get me wrong, I like the idea of segregated genders, at least through middle school.  BUt I'm not sure that going back to it whole sale is the best thing.

I like the idea of seperated
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« Reply #34: August 17, 2008, 02:21:32 pm »

My students get a very stern lecture on this when we talk about effective writing. I point out how often women undermine their own points that way and insist they quit it, both in writing and orally.

OTOH, I'm not sure it's a "weakness," though in some settings it's clearly self-undermining. I worked on an editorial board that with a female editor-in-chief and two female managing editors (who ran the meetings); the board was about evenly split between men and women. The men tended to state their position and that was that; the women tended to talk about it from many angles, for a long time, seeking consensus, and there was a lot of, "I'm not really sure, but ..." and "Do you think it might be ... ?" It was actually a marked effective way of managing a a group of highly-opinionated people often discussing sensitive topics, as it made a less-threatening environment where disagreements were addressed less directly and so much more face-saving was possible. Some of the men would get frustrated by the length of the meetings compared to the prior editorial board, but they all agreed it was a much more pleasant and functional environment than the previous male-run ed board where they'd all just go at each other's throats.

If I'm understanding you right, you're saying that in some cases this is almost a necessary thing, where in others it's just straight out unacceptable.  I completely agree.  Having been raised mostly by my dad, who was a military man, and a closet feminist, I was always taught to just jump in there.  In school, it would be to the effect of either I would blurt out my answers (as a child), or raise my hand and then just spit it out (as a teen), if I felt particularly shy about stating my idea/question in front of the class (which started around 3rd or 4th grade, and got worse until about the middle of 10th, because of the way "smart people" were treated at my school) I would just sit back and watch things.

I had started to put out a nice, long rant here.  Then realized it got into some personal issues which would be best left for other places.  
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« Reply #35: August 17, 2008, 02:37:00 pm »

The strength of these types findings has actually made me consider the usefulness of gender segregated classrooms and schools.  In the past, I would have never considered such a thing, but I honestly think girls might receive a better education without boys present.  My only qualm is I fear that funding would become unequal.

Yep.

Me, I value my co-ed education (which was everything *except* for college classroom settings.) But I also highly valued the single-sex education I got there - and I didn't realise, until I got there, just what it meant. (I went because I liked many other things about the school: the single-sex education was actually a concern, for some other personal/group dynamics reasons. Turned out to be flawed reasoning, as I'm still quite close to my college friends, but I didn't know that at that time.)

What the school I work for does - which I think is pretty cool - is do optional sections of single-sex science classes in 7th and 8th grade (at a time research has determined single sex education in the sciences is particularly effective in terms of long-term confidence and comfort with the material.) There're also co-ed sections for students/parents who prefer that. You can still see the effects later in high school: we have a noticeable number of accomplished young women who are good at the sciences and math, and reasonably public about it.
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« Reply #36: August 17, 2008, 02:40:04 pm »

OTOH, I'm not sure it's a "weakness," though in some settings it's clearly self-undermining.

I'd differentiate (and didn't do so in detail, previously) between seeking consensus, which I think is a generally useful thing (especially when it means looking at all sides of the issue, and "Well, I don't want to admit I know this" - which I *do* think is an issue, because of what it reinforces both internally and externally.

So:

"Well, what about this other thing here?" or "I've heard that X and Y sometimes matter in this situation - what's your experience?" or "I seem to remember hearing about Q - anyone know if I'm remembering correctly" would all be ways to seek consensus and agreement and new information, but "Well, I'm not sure if I'm right, but [tentative explanation of something that is either right or not]" or "Well, you're an expert in X, but is Y possible" (when a woman has perfectly solid credentials/experience in X as well.)
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« Reply #37: August 17, 2008, 02:40:42 pm »

The strength of these types findings has actually made me consider the usefulness of gender segregated classrooms and schools.  In the past, I would have never considered such a thing, but I honestly think girls might receive a better education without boys present.  My only qualm is I fear that funding would become unequal.

I think it should certainly be an option, particularly in large districts with all kinds of magnet and charter schools. Some students just do better in a single-sex environment. And other students struggle in a single-sex environment. I don't think it should be mandatory or universal, but I really do think it's an important option to have available.
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« Reply #38: August 17, 2008, 02:44:48 pm »

Funding is easy to watch.  I'd be more worried about the quality of teachers assigned, with low pay & thus new or poor quality teachers getting assigned to mostly one gender.

Then there is differences in types of classes and activities choosen.  Yeah, equal funding, but the only sports offered to boys will be football (a very expensive sport per player) while girls will get more choices such soccer, field hockey, and other sports that are cheap per player.

Not so much, but also classes.  Girls will get a wider variety of "soft" classes such as English, history, language, etc where the text books don't have to be replaced as often.  Boys will get fewer choices since the courses like chemisty or auto shop are expensive to run with need for lab material and parts.

I think it can be done, and in all to many places it can't be any worse than existing programs.


Separating the genders would be a good idea, however, what about after grade school.  Would we have segregated colleges?  Then what about segregated workplaces?  We'd end up actually having to dismantle most of the progress made in the past decades for women's rights.

Segregating the schools would mean that boys and girls wouldn't be required to actually get used to each other in a "social" environment.  If they were brought to the thinking that they needed to be separated then you would get a sort of culture shock from both when actually forced to work together.

Also, the inequalities would make it harder for each to be qualified for certain fields of work.  It would be a very unworkable system, and would cause more grief in the long run, than it solves problems in the here and now.  What is needed is for more teachers to be put under the microscope, as it were, and shown how they favor one gender over another, and for more parents to raise their children so that they get equal attention.  Society is already beginning to do this as a whole.  There are still individuals who are fighting the changes happening, but these get fewer and fewer.  Boys are becoming less bold on the whole, and girls are becoming more so.  It takes a lot of time to introduce, and to notice such changes, but they are happening, and we'll just have to wait to see the outcome.

One thing I like though, is an idea I think I heard from my pap.  It was about allowing more options at younger grades (one thing is allowing children to take courses for higher grades, if they aren't being challenged enough in their current curriculum).  As well as integrating studies, using ideas from one subject to enhance or in combination with another.  There was another idea about finding a childs preferrences and strengths, and using those to enhance the curriculum.  Not so much an individualized curriculum, but rather, testing and the like, to determine these things, then appropriate placement in with other students with the same strengths and weaknesses.  This would mean that the children would be moved to different classes for each subject at earlier grades.  (So far as I know this mostly happens at the high school level (8th or 9th grade and up), sometimes in "middle school"(4th or 5th grade up to high school), rarely if at all in elementary (up to 4th or 5th grade.))

I think I'm off on another tangent here, so I'll stop now.  
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« Reply #39: August 17, 2008, 02:58:21 pm »

Separating the genders would be a good idea, however, what about after grade school.  Would we have segregated colleges?  Then what about segregated workplaces?  We'd end up actually having to dismantle most of the progress made in the past decades for women's rights.

Segregating the schools would mean that boys and girls wouldn't be required to actually get used to each other in a "social" environment.  If they were brought to the thinking that they needed to be separated then you would get a sort of culture shock from both when actually forced to work together.

You know, plenty of people went through the entire school careers in single-sex schools. It's not as common as it used to be, but people have done and still do it, and plenty of them turn out to be perfectly functional adults with no difficulty interacting with the opposite sex. And plenty of people in co-ed environments are sexists or worse and totally incapable of appropriate interaction.

My mother, for example, was at girls' schools for junior high, high school, and college. She knew PLENTY of boys, had plenty of male friends, and is a functional human being, I assure you. Smiley

And again, making it an option doesn't mean it has to be universal!
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« Reply #40: August 17, 2008, 03:26:31 pm »

You know, plenty of people went through the entire school careers in single-sex schools. It's not as common as it used to be, but people have done and still do it, and plenty of them turn out to be perfectly functional adults with no difficulty interacting with the opposite sex. And plenty of people in co-ed environments are sexists or worse and totally incapable of appropriate interaction.

My mother, for example, was at girls' schools for junior high, high school, and college. She knew PLENTY of boys, had plenty of male friends, and is a functional human being, I assure you. Smiley

And again, making it an option doesn't mean it has to be universal!

Again, I should have read all of the posts, before posting myself.  I hadn't read yours before I posted.  Making it an option would be a good idea.  The only problem would be the funding needed.  You would have to have three classes for every one we have now.  Which would mean, more supplies, and more teachers.  It woud be a solution to a problem, but the expense could get attrocious(sp?).
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« Reply #41: August 17, 2008, 03:41:34 pm »

I think it should certainly be an option, particularly in large districts with all kinds of magnet and charter schools. Some students just do better in a single-sex environment. And other students struggle in a single-sex environment. I don't think it should be mandatory or universal, but I really do think it's an important option to have available.

Maybe I'm just having a knee-jerk reaction here, but I absolutely, categorically loathe the idea of single sex education and think it's a very, very bad idea.

The world we live in isn't single sex, and I don't think setting up an artificial environment promoting that is a good idea.
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« Reply #42: August 17, 2008, 03:48:16 pm »

Maybe I'm just having a knee-jerk reaction here, but I absolutely, categorically loathe the idea of single sex education and think it's a very, very bad idea.

The world we live in isn't single sex, and I don't think setting up an artificial environment promoting that is a good idea.

I dunno, I would've liked it as an option in the classes that had lots of sessions anyway.

I don't know if I would have taken it or not, but it would have at least given people that didn't want to spend class-time flirting a place to go away from the flirters - and the REST of the school would still be co-ed.

I mean, hell, my gym classes were single-sex - it's not like it's never done.
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« Reply #43: August 17, 2008, 03:51:11 pm »

You would have to have three classes for every one we have now.  Which would mean, more supplies, and more teachers.  It woud be a solution to a problem, but the expense could get attrocious(sp?).

Unfortunately, any solution is going to be just as atrocious to the government's bottom line.  Even if we don't introduce optionally gender-segregated classrooms, we desperately a lower student-to-teacher ratio, and that's going to be more teachers and more money no matter how we slice it.  The gender-segregated classrooms would force a lower student-teacher ration, but the government would probably be more likely to provide funding for one or two more teachers to a department than they would to treble the teaching staff (and even the idea of adding 1 or 2 teachers per department would be a difficult one for the government to stomach, I'm sure).
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« Reply #44: August 17, 2008, 03:51:31 pm »

Separating the genders would be a good idea, however, what about after grade school.  Would we have segregated colleges?  Then what about segregated workplaces?  We'd end up actually having to dismantle most of the progress made in the past decades for women's rights.

As Koi said, those of us who've had single sex education are still quite capable of interacting with other genders. Honest.

My immediate co-workers are all men (uncommon in library work, but true right now for me.) and I do fine with them.

The one place I've had trouble was working in a nearly-all-male tech support department: the men there were not nearly as comfortable with my preferring the soft skills (customer support, training, documentation, problem-solving when part of the issue was user action) and less desirous of spending all my day with my arms in the guts of a computer. (I can do the mechanical upgrade stuff, but it doesn't interest me as much.)

In other words, the place I've had the most issue was the one that was most 'conventional' in terms of roles. Weird, that.

My grad school for my MLIS is, at the undergrad/residential level, a women's college, too. The grad programs are co-ed. One other benefit it offers is that many of the Somali refugee families who've settled here prefer it for college for their daughters: they have more freedom without worrying about breaking Muslim requirements about dress, etc.  Yet, I've also seen these young women be very articulate with both male and female professors, or in casual social interactions. (Besides going there, I was working there as a sub for another librarian last winter.)

Quote
Also, the inequalities would make it harder for each to be qualified for certain fields of work.

Why? I went to one of the top women's colleges in the US, and know people from a number of others. These school often have superior rates of success in technical and scientific fields to many co-ed schools, because women can better learn the basics of the subject and take risks in a less charged and competitive environment. On the other hand, I've heard horror stories from people at other schools about people sabotaging each other's experiments, that was very uncommon where I went - it was far more common to get help and support to learn concepts.

A very good friend of mine - female - graduated from a Big Ten school in engineering: her experiences as one of a very few women among male engineers were not good. She rarely felt she had peer support, sometimes felt she didn't have faculty support, etc. It made her less and less thrilled by the profession (to the point she's looking for other things to do with her life) even though she spent 10 years as a very successful engineer.

These are anecdotes - but they're anecdotes that also have some academic studies and long-term graphing behind them, and reflect larger patterns. Are they the only kind of education there should be? Nope. But there are some benefits, and in many cases, providing options is *not* vastly more expensive, especially if you do, say, 2 single-sex sections, plus 3 co-ed sections. (You'd still be teaching 5 sections total anyway, after all for that many people.)

Is it the right answer for everyone? Nope, and if you'd asked me before about October of my senior year in high school, I would have said it wasn't the right choice for me, either. But in hindsight, the ways that I communicate and interact with the world - and especially with gendered communication - underwent vast shifts in college, and I'm a far better person as a result. (And I was already reasonably competent before that, for my age.)

I want other people to have that choice and that chance, if they decide it's the right thing for them. And I want people to be realistic about what some of the costs of co-ed education can be, and what the benefits of single-sex education can be. Informed choice benefits everyone.
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