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Why I Believe Classrooms Should Be Separated By Gender

IN THE July 10 ISSUE

FROM THE 2010 Articles,
andJayce Ham,
andTeens
SECTIONS

by Jessica Ham

NO males and females togetherDo you like having the opposite sex sit in front of you in class? Yes, you might, but does it ever distract you from learning? I know from personal experience that having the opposite sex in class is very distracting. Girls and boys use their brains differently. Now, I’m not saying that boys are dumb but they do learn differently then us girls do. Girls are more language-oriented and boys are more math-oriented. That’s not always the case but, in most instances, it is true. That’s not the only reason I believe the government should separate all school classrooms by gender, there are many:

• There would be less distraction. When you see a cute boy or girl, you stare at them. Lisa Bennett, a psychologist with a Masters Degree in psychology from NYU, says that “It is part of human nature to want to be liked by someone. You see a person you like… it is natural for you to be distracted and think of nothing but getting to know them.”

• Fewer disciplinary problems would occur. Hankins Middle School in North Carolina just recently separated and the number of office referrals are continually going down. Boys tend to get in trouble to impress the ladies.

• Speaking of having an audience, students would be more likely to branch out and try new things without worrying what the opposite sex might think.

• Also, grades and test scores would be higher. 11-year-old Brenda of Hankins Middle School made the honor roll for the first time. She says, “When boys are around, you’re shy. And you won’t ask questions if you don’t get it.” [Rena Havner, Press-Register, Nov. 24, 2008] Teachers can spend extra time on subjects that boys or girls might struggle with. I was terrible at math in elementary school, like many girls are, and I would have loved it if my teacher could have spent more time explaining the subject. The Boston Globe states that schools in South Carolina are teaching boys math by taking them outside and using skateboard parts and teaching girls history with a trivia game. Boys learn better by going outside and learning with physical things while girls are more apt to learn from games and challenges where they are forced to be competitive.

If we allow our students to be separated, I believe our terrible education system will become great again. You will be proud of the test scores and the increase in high grade point averages. There will be fewer office referrals and the students will be less distracted and, therefore, get their work done. I feel that this is what is best for students and will make our schools a better learning environment. They would be allowed to mingle during breaks and lunch but the classrooms will be strictly segregated by sex.

Jessica Ham is 17 years old and an ongoing contributor to our Teen Talk section; with dreams of being on Broadway, she’s right at home covering Entertainment.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dave Rhodes
Twitter: @rhodester
July 10, 2010 at 1:53pm

Nice in theory, but a part of getting an education is to prepare you for life AFTER school. It’s not all about learning math and proper grammar, it’s about learning social skills, such as dealing with distractions.

Unfortunately, distractions are a part of life so perhaps removing them isn’t the answer? How about learning to focus despite them? What if your high school actually did separate classes by gender? Then your college should too, right?

After that, when you get hired by a company and are making good money, you’ll need to insist on a female-only office environment, or whatever type of position you’re in. If you become a cop, no male partners for you, that would be too distracting! If you go to work at Starbucks, then only girls behind the counter when you’re on shift or you might put too much milk in someone’s latte.

But that’s just silly, right? Yes it is, which means that now is the time to figure out how you focus and concentrate enough to get an A on that test paper DESPITE the cute boy sitting across from you, instead of flunking it because of him.


.-= A recent submission from Dave: Hotel Mirabelle: No Better Bargain in the City =-.

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2 Larry Ham July 10, 2010 at 2:58pm

On the other hand, Grammar School, Middle School and High School are NOT supposed to be laboratories for social experimentation. Social skills can and should be taught by parents. When you leave it to school districts to teach social skills, you end up with the mess our society in general, and our youth in particular, have become. Schools are for learning the three “R”s. And if you want kids to learn to intermingle, break time and lunch time are ideal settings. Jessica is 100 percent right.


.-= A recent submission from Larry: For the Love of Sports =-.

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3 Dave Rhodes
Twitter: @rhodester
July 10, 2010 at 10:31pm

I never said leave it to the schools INSTEAD of the parents.

So she graduates from her segregated high school, what then? All of a sudden she has an important job to do (as opposed to an important term paper) and the three “cute” guys she’s working with aren’t going to be a problem because dad taught her social skills in the living room?

Oh, I forgot about lunch. Right.

You and I both went through school in the sixties and seventies and did okay despite the girls in classrooms.

I’d think you’d be about LESS government control, yet you’re advocating your daughter’s idea that the government step in and make yet another unnecessary law.

That just doesn’t track, unless you’re just publicly sticking up for her, which is noble on the outside but how healthy is it really, when it’s simply not a very good idea?


.-= A recent submission from Dave: Hotel Mirabelle: No Better Bargain in the City =-.

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4 Lorie Lewis Ham
Twitter: @mysteryrat
July 11, 2010 at 10:00am

This whole article really is just food for thought-trying to find ways to help our kids learn better in school. The thought being that too many high schoolers spend too little time doing what they’re supposed to do-learn, and perhaps separate classrooms would help them concentrate a bit more at this time in their life when their bodies are changing quickly and they’re being overrun by hormones. There’s plenty of time for these important social skills to be learned in college once the raging hormones have calmed down just a bit. And yes they would still have recess, and lunch, and dances and games-social settings to help them learn social skills.

Once they’re adults, let’s hope they can be mature enough to focus on what’s needed instead of letting a pretty face make them do a bad job-and if they’re not I think it’s more personality and maturity than what they did or didn’t learn in high school or even at home. I really don’t think not having that practice in high school is going to make that much difference. High school does not prepare them for life-take my word for it as the mom of 2 of them, and mentor to countless others.

But bottom line here is this is all just food for thought-it’s never going to really happen. I’d really like to hear what others have to say about this.


.-= A recent submission from Lorie: Loomis and The Lust: Santa Barbara Boys Make Sweet Music in Fresno =-.

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5 Sheryl Wall July 18, 2010 at 9:51pm

I can see how it can be helpful in high school to have less distraction. That it can help focus on the main purpose of school which is learning. Sometimes it’s easy to get distracted from why you’re there. And it’s important to remember that girls and guys do learn differently and to incorporate that learning difference in teaching.


.-= A recent submission from Sheryl: Why Train Your Dog? =-.

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6 Blah-blah May 9, 2013 at 9:08am

Maybe it would be useful but life is not like that. Kids need to know how to act together. Trust me, I know.-kid

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