The role of single-sex schools for black and Latino men

May 14, 2010 at 9:30 am 2 comments

I found this an interesting synchronicity with my blog post last week about women in Qatar and how they prefer gender-segregated schools, even as they embrace “geekiness.”  This new report highlights the value of single-sex schools in changing black and Latino men’s sense of identity.  How do you change culture?  Maybe what we’re seeing in Qatar and in this report is that you change culture for some students by first separating them from the culture that enforces the original views?  Not a new idea — Rousseau made that claim in 1762.  Maybe he was right?

Racially, a key administrator highlights how “students are bombarded with imagery and the identity of being a thug, being a gangster, being hard,” defining what qualifies one as a man. This socially constructed disconnect between what it means to be a man and what it means to be a learner presents a real challenge for the schools’ young men.

There is a fear of breaking certain stereotypes, with poverty and home/family life posing significant challenges. By providing students with a secure sense of self and an academic identity transcending a street identity, single-sex schools argue that they are able to remedy the stigma associated with becoming an educated Black or Latino male.

via Theories of Change among Single-Sex Schools – Announcements – NYU Steinhardt.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. weilunion  |  May 14, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Single sex schools are also the rage her in ravaged America where all black academies are set up, ethnic theme schools, same sex schools, all gay schools — charter schools.

    This leads to the segregation of America, pre Brown v. Board of Education, fracturing of the country as people wish to ‘pull out’ (a form of tribalism) and thus if unabated will lead to dthe disintegration of the nation.

    It is sad to see a country that was once a leader in education now fracture into pieces that are bought and sold on Wall Street. For Wall st. is the money backer of many of these schools, the same hedge fund artsts who brought down the economy now find profit in setting up all the ‘diverse’ schools.

    Same sex schools or all black male schools etc. are the beginning of Jim Crow politics. We need integration and schools that teach us how to live not just how to make a living.

    These would be public schools. No private charter schools.

    Danny Weil

  • 2. Alex Rudnick  |  May 14, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I wonder about single-sex schools being a tough sell for many young men for the precise reason that it’s just guys. Is that a common problem? I’m trying to imagine being a bro in highschool, explaining my hypothetical choice to attend Wabash…

    But Morehouse avoids this problem by being right next to Spelman! Sounds like a good compromise. How’s their CS program?


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