Thursday, December 6, 2012

How Often Do We Agree With the ACLU?

A West Virginia middle school believes that students perform better when boys and girls are taught in separate classrooms.  The ACLU opposes the controversial theory that kids perform better when they are segregated from the opposite sex.   A lawsuit is causing the debate to surface and stimulating experiments with less than traditional classrooms.  Is such practice based on harmful stereotypes or are girls and boys motivated differently? The American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against Van Devender Middle School and its administrators in Parkersburg, W.Va., may answer the controversy.

The lawsuit claims that segregated classrooms constitute gender discrimination. The suit, filed on behalf of a mother of three female students, contends that the school lights its classrooms more brightly for boys and allows boys more freedom to move around freely. Amy Katz, an attorney working with the ACLU, apparently thinks its classic discrimination. But Leonard Sax, a psychologist, physician, and author of three books on kids and education, including Why Gender Matters disagrees. Sax argues that same-sex classes help students shed inhibitions and stereotypes. Sax shared his theories with teachers at Van Devender in 2009.   The next year they apparently incorporated some of his ideas into practice.

Is Sax right about same sex classrooms? Perhaps the wisdom of our legal system will soon provide an answer.


Anonymous said...

Same sex class? No fun!

Video Guy said...

I’ll tell you what, and this is from personal experience. In Jr High two of our English teachers, (One Male and one female) decided to separate the males from the females in an experience. They combined the classes and divided them by sex, the female teacher took the girls and the male teacher took the boys.
I had always scored low when it came to English class, and back in those day it included reading, writing, grammar…ect.
That year I excelled and have loved reading ever since. It was the material that the male teacher picked for us young males to read…things that would interest us. And grammar was handled openly, many of us asked for help without being ashamed of our shortcomings. I also remember in the spring, when baseball season started, out male teacher would sometimes turn on the game on the radio…but we had to do a report of that game for homework.
My understanding is that the girls were given similar subjects of interest to them, like love novels to read and report on.
Don’t know what happened to their idea after we left for highschool, but I do remember our teacher and once seen him years after highschool. I told him I loved to read after taking his class and still read much. It brought a smile to his face, and he did remember me.
To this day I still love to read and consider Mr. Begovitch my inspiration.

So…in some situations and subjects I see a benefit to the separation of sexes in education.

Anonymous said...

yuk, id never want to go to school if it was all boys.