(PHILADELPHIA) -- Boys and girls may be opposites, but new research shows that in the classroom, separating the two sexes may not be the best way for either gender to learn and grow.
A new study from Penn State researchers states that students who attend single-sex schools are no better educated than those who attend co-ed schools. Plus, children are more likely to accept gender stereotypes when they go to an all-boys or all-girls school.
Supporters of single-sex schools argue that boys' and girls' brains are wired differently, and therefore require different teaching styles to maximize education, but study authors note that neuroscientists have not found hard evidence that show differences in girls' and boys' different learning styles.
The report, published in the journal Science, compared two preschool classes. In one class, the teacher used gender-specific language to address the children. The other teacher did not. After just two weeks, the researchers reported that children who had the teacher using sex-specific language played less with children of the other sex. The kids also showed an increase in gender-specific stereotypes (i.e. boys played with trucks, girls with dolls).
The study also noted that a review commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education found little overall difference in academic outcomes between children in single-sex schools versus those in coed schools.
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