Archive for October 12, 2011
Recently I blogged on an article by president of Bryn Mawr College, arguing for the value of single-sex college education. Now, here comes a meta-review published in Science saying that there’s no evident value. This is a significant issue for us, because we do need to find mechanisms to draw more women into CS. Single-sex programs are a potential avenue to consider — but maybe not?
The report, “The Pseudoscience of Single Sex Schooling,” to be published in Science magazine by eight social scientists who are founders of the nonprofit American Council for CoEducational Schooling, is likely to ignite a new round of debate and legal wrangling about the effects of single-sex education.
It asserts that “sex-segregated education is deeply misguided and often justified by weak, cherry-picked or misconstrued scientific claims rather than by valid scientific evidence.”
But the strongest argument against single-sex education, the article said, is that it reduces boys’ and girls’ opportunities to work together, and reinforces sex stereotypes. “Boys who spend more time with other boys become increasingly aggressive,” the article said. “Similarly, girls who spend more time with other girls become more sex-typed.”