The Effectiveness of Gender Specific Education on Academics and Behavior among Public Middle School Students
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AuthorBliss, Stephanie A.
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AbstractThe purpose of this research project was to investigate the effectiveness of gender separation in schools, with an aim to contribute to the growing body of literature on gender separation in the public school system. The present project analyzed a western New York public middle school’s attempt at gender separation. The effectiveness of the school’s gender separation practices were evaluated by using the student’s grade point averages (GPA) and behavior referrals as a measure of impact. The method involved comparing the same student’s seventh and eighth grade GPAs in both single and mixed gender classes. It is important to note that the students do not have all single gender classes. The classes that were not considered core classes were all mixed gender. For the purpose of this project math, English, science, social studies and physical education were considered core classes. The seventh grade GPA that was used was the cumulative GPA of the seventh grade year in single gender or mixed gender classes. The eighth grade GPA that was used was an average of the first half of the eighth grade year in single gender or mixed gender classes. The use of only half of the eighth grade year in comparison to the whole year of the seventh grade was due to the time constraints of the researcher. The discipline referral numbers that were used were generated from a discipline referral data base maintained by each individual school at the secondary level in this school district. This data base tracks student’s discipline referrals consecutively as students move through the grade levels that the school provides. Like the GPAs a cumulative number of referrals was gathered for the seventh grade year and then for the eighth grade year for the same students. This study found that the all female classes showed a decrease in grade point averages from seventh to eighth grade with a slight increase in number of discipline referrals. The male class showed an increase in grade point averages and maintained a negative correlation between grade point averages and number of discipline referrals. The mixed gender class showed an increase in grade point averages but remained unchanged in the amount of discipline referrals received from seventh to eighth grade. Implications for school counselors and other helping professionals to aid in better service for all students are provided.