Boys’ schools offer a welcoming and stimulating educational environment for a wide variety of personalities. The boys receive much needed assistance and tutorage, and are inspired to involve themselves in all aspects of school life that may otherwise be unduly influenced by girls in a co-educational environment.
Educating boys in a single sex setting is not an offensive on equal rights. It is an opening, which eventually improves equality by acknowledging boys and girls to cultivate their own distinctive and specific learning styles.
Here are the benefits of an all boys' education.
Often the argument against same-sex schools is that it produces an environment where gender stereotypes are reinforced, at the crucial time where young people are forming their views of the world. Critics of same-sex schooling would say that all boys' schools are fertile ground for the perpetuation of misogyny, and that girls’ schools allow young women to develop a more two-dimensional attitude to the opposite sex than they would have otherwise.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, same-sex schools can actually help both genders to become more developmentally rounded because the opposite sex isn’t there to play up to. Both Walker and Dovey suggest that perhaps it’s the presence of the opposite sex that can reinforce gender stereotypes at a vulnerable time in young lives.
“It’s about having breathing room to start becoming men and women,” Walker says. “But at the same time we’re creating a space where kids are shielded from the pressues of gender, for a while at least.”
Learning is encouraged
Dr Leonard Sax argues that starting school discourages boys. This is due to the fact that most are expected to sit down and remain quiet in class; boys can be discouraged from learning while very young when seated alongside female classmates. This is too late to address in secondary schooling years.
All boys' schools offer a safe place for boys to take chances, express their emotions and discover subjects such as the arts and classic literature. Usual ‘non-masculine’ areas are actually admired and encouraged in an all-boy environment.
Boys can be free to practice any area in which they are interested, including those that can be perceived as 'female' in co-educational schools. This opens up a boy’s choice for academic goals and future career aspirations.
Boy focused curriculum
All boys' schools allow educators to tailor their teaching in such a way that maximises the way a boy learns. Boys and girls develop at a different pace and possess different strengths. While girls generally develop earlier physical and socially, refining their reading and writing skills sooner, boys are naturally more spatial and visual, demonstrate a natural appreciation for areas like mathematics, and are hard-wired to learn more easily through actions rather than words. Researchers have found that a boy’s brain is wired to require movement, space, action and rest, and also learn better when material is presented in small portions.
The benefits of a single-gender school are best realised at a young age. Especially if you are frequently being told to remain seated and not to communicate with fellow peers in a co-educational setting. It then starts to affect their well-being and practice of an effective modern day learner.
All-boy schools are not simply schools for ‘jocks’ but schools for boys. They have been designed to respond to boys’ needs, to connect with their potential and to provide a compass in their journey of being a constructive member of the global community.
Unique learning techniques
All-boy schools cater to boys’ learning preferences and teach in ways that boys learn and respond to best, with a strong competitive and active component. They are also savvy in deploying approaches that lift achievement in reading and writing - where many boys struggle.
With no female students to impress, boys can get on with being their true selves. Conformity gives way to individuality. They feel free to explore subjects like languages and the arts without fear of ridicule. Masculine labels disappear, along with misogynist traits, and transform into thoughtful discussion.
Written by Mr Duncan Kendall, Assistant Head of the Senior Preparatory School, The Scots College.
To learn more about boys' education and the educational philosophy of The Scots College, download our Prospectus here.