This is a first mixed comp, one class for boys one for girls.(19 Posts)
Its for middle sets and only for one subject so perhaps experimental at this stage. I think its a great idea. Hopefully stops any messing around to impress.
I think this is a fanatstic idea. I may well get attacked on this thread for being sexist , (I usually do) but absolutely am not...Grew up on Spare Rib.
On the whole boys and girls do have different learning styles and take in information in different ways. I really think you can only be fully aware of this if you work in a school.
I know trials on this have shown improvement in the results for both boys and girls in this situation.
Mixing for social/pastoral and seperate sex lessons is a great way to go. I wish my school would do it. I teach a lasses hich are mainly boys, and classes which are mainly girls, they are completely different and I adjust my teaching accordingly.
think it's good (though can my ds(14) go in with the girls please )
I agree - it does sound good. It's naive to think that there aren't differences in the way they learn - and it's also - imo - naive to think that you can make up socially for the lack of the opposite sex in school by virtue of a few mixed out of school activities.
Why do you want him with the girls Astra?
Boys working together get very competitive and when it works it's great. I've got 3 competing against each other to get A's... I am being nagged to death to help them , but when they start they set the rest of the class off
I wish they had done it more when I went to that school. I might have actually learnt something instead of worrying about looking cool in front of the boys.
Wren in Finchley is also opening as a mixed school with the core subjects taught in single sex classes. Great idea.
Our school did this for a few years for modern languages, but have now reverted back to mixed classes, and results/progress have not suffered at all.
I know the theory that children work best in single-sex classes, but my children all work very well with the other sex and there is definitely a healthy competitive element there too.
Funnily enough, there seems to be a healthy mix in subjects often seen as more 'male' or 'female' - so lots of girls up with the highest achievers in maths and science, and some of the best languages students are male.
There are some studies that show that this can have a positive effect. My gut reaction is that the effects are not that great and are possibly due to the 'any intervention' effect. IE start any new intervention in education and you get the staff more enthusiastic, all singing from the same hymn sheet etc.
sort of an education placebo effect, I think.
Recent studies on 'learning styles' show that they are not as marked as once thought, and that tailoring your lessons to suit prefered learning styles can be counter productive
It may be that boys and girls learn differently, but sooner or later they are going to have to learn to work together and ignore any distraction arising from sex. As a university teacher I would rather they had worked through that phase before they get to me
When they get into the work place they will not find that everything is tailored to their favoured style.
I think Martianbishop may have a point about the placebo effect. Dd's secondary-school-to-be is going co-ed in September and there is a definite buzz there, simply because something new is happening.
I think children and teenagers are different now - much more confident, more equal. I think gender will become less and less important in the classroom and, I hope, in life.
The problem with the learning styles things is that we all need to use a rannge of different styles. It isn't helpful to 'just' be a visual learner or 'just' a kinesthetic learner. Otherwise the kids leave school and can't do a presentation and few employers are going to let them 'Dance or' or 'act' the sales figues from last year. We all need different styles at different times and places
At school we were taught chem,bio and physics in single sex sets which were also streamed as we got older (music, drama and pe were also single sex as we would do one of these while the boys did a science iyswim)
History, maths, goegraphy and English were mixed gender.
It was nice to have a bit of both.
I agree, Martianbishop. Our school has done lots of work with staff and students on learning styles, but the emphasis has been on using all styles. Otherwise children say 'oh, but I'm a visual learner, so I can't/won't do it this way'.
'Balanced' learners usually do best.
I agree that there is a danger in not forcing both sexes to try different learning styles. It could work against them later in the workplace- and my suspicion is that it will mainly work against the girls as more bosses are still men.
We tried this for the first time this year with C/D borderline separate sex groups in science. I got the boys! They were great though. Not easy by any stretch of the imagination but one of the best classes I've ever taught. We did it because the course they were following was 50% coursework which boys are notoriously bad at. When they were in Y10 you could see them getting disheartened when the girls were handing theirs in and getting good marks. There was always a negative comparison between the boys and the girls (the class I had had 21 boys and 4 girls so it was easy to separate them). You need a strong teacher though, preferably of the opposite sex.
DS1s High school has single sex English and Maths classes in years 7-9 as they say it allows them to tailor the classes better to the needs of the students. Everything else is mixed. Funnily enough, despite being dyslexic, DS1 (Y9)is doing better than he ever has before in English at the moment and seems a bit more confident about his school work. Not sure if it has anything to do with the gender thing, but I'm not complaining
I agree with MartianBishop.
I think this is an OK thing to do as a start - but what I'd really like to see is testing for learning styles, and then grouping according to the results of that. Simply splitting genders is too crude imo.
(There was a C4 documentary series that did something similar a few years ago, with that Phil Beadle Teacher-Of-The-Year guy. Was very interesting.)
Having taught in a mixed comp, girls comp and a mixed school with single sex classes, I think this is actually a really good idea. Its not just a matter of learning styles in the traditional understanding(VAK), because it also encompasses motivation, classroom management techniques and all sorts. For example, IME girls tend to be a lot better at research projects than boys - I can give girls lots of 3/4 week projects, set out the guidelines and leave them to get on with it. For boys, I have found that there can be a tendency to leave it all to the last minute, so you need to break it down into much smaller chunks for them... whereas the girls can resent. Also, when you teach single sex, the way you discipline and motivate changes, even down to what topics take their fancy changes (There is no national curriculum in my subject, so I am more able to choose what I want to teach compared to most teachers, and have been lucky that my SOWs have been quite flexible in the past). So yes, I like it and think it is beneficial.
That said, I also agree that learning styles is a load of old bollox...and when I did my MA in Education a few years back, was told by the psychology of education professor there that there was virtually no academic support for it at all... so never really understood what all the fuss was aboout as far as learning styles are concerned.
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