Did anyone read this article from The New York Times last week? Admissions deans from top women’s colleges—including Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, and Smith—recently spent some time recruiting female students in the Middle East.
Seems like it could be a sweet deal: despite the best efforts of single-sex supporters like “boy-crisis” ringleader Leonard Sax, a lot of American high school females might not even consider applying to a woman’s college. International applications could definitely boost the selectivity of Seven Sisters-like institutions.
But is single-sex education a benefit or a detriment to girls? The recent pro-separation argument has been focused on “natural” brain differences between males and females; if genders innately learn differently, then shouldn’t they be educated in environments that cater to those differences?
I’m curious about BUSTies’ experiences with single-sex education. Does separation of genders in the classroom only serve to reinforce stereotypes, or does it offer boys, girls, men and women the opportunity to excel in subjects they might not in coeducational settings? (One of Sax’s fave points to make is that girls are more likely to take math and science classes if boys aren’t around, and that boys are more encouraged to pursue the creative arts. He cites this as an example of single-sex education “bust”-ing gender stereotypes…)