Single-gender Education Has No Advantage over Co-education, Study Says

March 16, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. comprehensive /ˌkɒmprɪˈhɛnsɪv/ (adj.) – extensive or large in scope
ExampleThe comprehensive study analyzed more than 10,000 cases from different countries.

2. trivial /ˈtrɪviəl/ (adj.) – refers to a very small matter; unimportant
ExampleYou can forget about the problem; it’s trivial.

3. nonexistent /ˌnɒnɪgˈzɪstənt/ (adj.) – absent; does not exist
ExampleSingle-education schools are almost non-existent in the rural community.

4. modest /ˈmɒdɪst/ (adj.) – not much; moderate or little in amount
ExampleThe school stopped the program because its benefits are modest.

5. evident /ˈɛvɪdənt/ (adj.) – very clear
Example: The teacher’s anger over the students’ lack of initiative is evident in his tone.


Read the text below.
A recent study revealed that single-gender education does not have much advantage over co-education.

The research analyzed 184 studies of more than 1.6 million students in 21 countries all over the world. The research looked into the students’ performance in and attitude towards mathematics and science, their verbal skills, and their attitude towards school, gender stereotyping, aggression, victimization, and body image.

The comprehensive analysis of the data showed that there is not enough evidence that single-gender education has much advantage over co-education. Researchers specifically discovered that single-gender education schools do not educate students any better than co-ed schools.

The proponents of single-gender education argue that separating boys from girls increases students’ interest and performance in academics. But according to a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, these advantages are trivial and even nonexistent in many cases.

Some studies showed that single-gender education has modest benefits on math performance and none on science among both boys and girls. However, no benefits were evident in recent studies that used more efficient methods.

According to theories, single-gender education is more advantageous especially for girls. These theories suggest that without boys in the classroom, girls would be able to perform better in subjects that are male-dominated, like math and science. A theoretical approach called “girl power” also argues that girls usually fall behind boys in some subjects in co-ed schools.

However, these theories are not supported by the researchers’ recent analysis. In fact, the researchers found that girls’ educational aspirations were not higher in single-gender schools.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree with the findings of the study? Why or why not?
·         Which approach do you prefer—single-gender schooling or co-ed schooling? Explain.

Discussion B

·         How can we encourage students to perform better in school? Explain.
·         In your opinion, how can the educational system be improved? Explain.


March 16, 2014