Education: Single Sex vs Co-Ed

An ongoing global discussion continues pertaining to same sex vs co-ed learning both in and outside the classroom. The question that keeps arising is, do students learn better in a same sex setting or a co-educational setting and which is more beneficial for them?

St. George’s is intentionally an all-boys school for a number of reasons. The first being that “boys seem to be better at managing smaller chunks of information and are more singular task-oriented and, as result, more receptive to project-based assignments.” stated the St. George’s school website. In addition, boys and girls have different learning styles; boys are more spatial and visual learners in comparison to girls, which are more verbal and auditory learners. Boys also tend to be more impulsive risk takers and have a much more competitive nature in and out of the classroom as opposed to girls. Many students that attend a single-sex institution for their high school career in many cases tend to lack relationship-making skills with the opposite gender.

Boys and girls develop at different rates, which produces significant differences in their academic learning in their early educational careers. One of the most prominent issues in co-ed schools is often times the distraction that the opposite sex can create for individuals. In addition to this, in some cases co-ed institutions often hinder individual’s willingness to try new things and be confident at doing so as a result of peer pressure. An example of this is “In a boys school like St. George’s, everything is a level “playing field”; our top athletes are often our top musicians, artists, and academics.

Same sex educational institutions cater to the needs of each individual because no single sex dominates the leadership roles or such alike. Students can pursue activities that in co-educational settings often are seen as too “masculine” for females or too “feminine” for males. “Researchers have discovered that students in a coeducational setting are actually prone to ‘gender intensification’; that is, determining in their own right which subjects are suited for boys and which ones for girls and reinforcing those labels,” states the St. George’s School website. Many boys interested in pursuing arts or languages feel intimidated in a coeducational environment because their peers may deem them not “cool” enough for boys to participate in. In single sex schools, the students feel much more confident in doing what they want because there is no one to “impress” or be judged by.

Often times, one of the major issues that arises from same sex educational institutions is the inability to hold a conversation and develop relationships with the opposite sex. At St. George’s the school is involved in many different events and activities with sister schools, Croton House School and York House School, however there is always room for improvement in this aspect. Grade 11 student Kaiz Bhatia stated, “I’m personally involved with the ultimate program here at the school and through this program over the years, I’ve met some of my best friends that are girls.” – a truly heart-warming story.

In final words, same gender or mixed gender educational really depends upon the individual. However it is proven that single sex education is better for the majority of students because of the pressure-free environment this gives students to explore, try new things and do what they want without the fear of being judged.


Above are the interviews, which were conducted with associate principle and head of student life, Mr. Lee as well as grade 11 student, Kaiz Bhatia.