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All-boys high schools foster academic achievement

Updated: January 28, 2014 3:31PM



When weighing the decision on private schools, parents and students have a choice: co-ed or single-gender classrooms. While choosing one over the other can be a tricky choice even for informed parents, for boys in particular, the benefits of separated learning environments are especially beneficial.

In single-sex classrooms, teachers use strategies that would otherwise be ineffective in co-ed settings, according to a national organization dedicated to single sex education. Schools are able to tailor curriculum to topics that are interesting to boys and present them in ways such that students will want to participate.

For instance, in an all-boys classroom, a teacher rarely stops moving. They keep students on their toes by asking debate-oriented questions and encouraging energy-charged discussions. Lessons take place in an environment in which space for dirt, explosions, gross experiments and other lively lessons can occur.

Customized lessons are just one of the variables that have been shown to lead to higher rates of academic achievement. A review conducted on single-gender education by the American Institutes for Research shows nearly a third of all studies done on the topic reported favorable outcomes in the area of short-term academic accomplishment.

A single-sex education also promotes diversity within the classroom. Without the fear of looking foolish in front of girls, it creates a safe space for boys to explore non-macho pursuits such as chorus, drama and art classes.

Rather than feeling pressure to fall into a particular stereotype, boys don’t need to choose between being a jock or a geek. At a single gender school, a football player can be on the honor roll and in choir.

Many private schools in which studies on single-gender classroom outcomes have taken place report that boys who initially held little interest in areas such as poetry and literature demonstrated a dramatically increased hunger for the subjects when separated from their female counterparts, according to a national study on classroom activities.

Every student deserves to learn under evidence based teaching approaches to meet their unique educational needs. In all-boys settings, males are encouraged to be themselves.

For more information about an all-boys Catholic education in Chicago, contact Brother Rice High School at (773) 429-4300.

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