There has been a constant debate about the benefits of private education in a single-sex environment. While some nay-sayers argue that a single-sex education does not prepare young women for socializing outside of school, the benefits of a higher educational focus are unquestionably the greatest benefit of this type of education. Some studies suggest that when girls and boys learn in the same environment, the gender differences become very exaggerated. In an all-girl educational institution, however, young girls are less worried about being a girl and more concerned with the person they are and the material they are learning.
There are other social benefits to a single-sex education. In some contexts, young girls will be less afraid to be assertive in the classroom because they won’t be outshone by confident or unruly boys. Some studies also suggest that girls in a single-sex environment are more likely to pursue interests within mathematics and science that may otherwise be considered masculine subjects. The potential of adding a higher population of females into the sciences alone is one of the most exciting outcomes of all girl education. In a single-sex environment, many girls find more freedom to both pursue their own interests and to express themselves.
In terms of the benefits of private education, the added benefits are bountiful. The number of teachers with advanced degrees is higher than in other types of education. At the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles, 67 percent of the faculty have achieved an advanced degree. The student teacher ratio is also often lower than other schools. When students have more access to teaching staff, they can modify their education more successfully. It is this possibility for custom learning that is exciting about private education.
In a recent research report published by Inzlicht and Ben Zeev, they found that students learned best when they were assigned to a partner of the same sex as well as the same academic ability. Girls who were paired with other girls with the same reading ability far outperformed pairs that were made up of two boys or a boy and a girl. Much research has found that pairing boys with girls does not help boys but actually hurts the girls in the pair.
When parents consider an all-girls school, they are considering what can also be an environment that can remove the ‘mean’ factor from certain areas of schooling. Co-educated students often report that much of the bullying or hazing that occurs within their school is a result of the boy-girl relationships that happen within the school. Some advocates report that removing this from the equation will not ensure perfect relationships, but it can relieve certain amounts of tension.
There are many benefits to considering an all girls institution. With access to more educational resources and a greater focus on academic learning, many young girls are provided with the opportunity to become the person they want to be with fewer of the social pressures of traditional schooling.