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.
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 is not there to play up to.
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 physically and socially, refine their reading and writing skills sooner, boys are naturally more spatial and visual. Boys 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-sex school are best realised at a young age. All boys 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 – an area where many boys struggle.
Boys’ schools are unique in that students are able to develop a special bond of brotherhood. This is nurtured through boys working together in the classroom, on the playing field or in the performance hall. Many graduates from boys’ school say the bonds they developed with their peers are among the most important benefits gained from their schooling.
Sometimes the best way to understand the full potential of an all boys school, is to hear from the students themselves.
A Student’s Perspective
Written by Charlie Jeavons-Fellows (Year 12)
A boy’s education is something that is an essential part in the journey toward adulthood. Without it, boys will grow up having not learnt the necessary skills that will prepare them for the years ahead.
But there’s a difference between simply getting an education and getting a boys’ education.
For me, a big part of education is the ‘books’ aspect. This is the studying, learning and academic side of the spectrum. How boys learn is unique in that they are curious for exploration and have a desire to discover more about the world.
This is where a boys’ education is so important as it allows them to discover more about themselves, other than just their academic potential. At Scots, young men are able to achieve their academic potential as well as explore a vast array of activities that will excite and invigorate their growing minds.
Boys are able to explore their talents in countless co-curricular activities ranging from Pipes and Drums to Drama, and from Cadets to Photography. One aspect that I admired was the involvement that boys had in the sporting programs. Sport is essential in a boys’ education as it teaches the importance of teamwork, sportsmanship, camaraderie and hard work – all traits that boys need to understand and learn. At Scots, boys are able to learn these valuable traits through dozens of sporting activities, all of which coincide and compliment their academic pursuits.
Something else that has been so important to me during my education was my involvement in Music. I’ve been part of the music program since Year 7, where I continued my learning of piano and trumpet and started to learn bagpipes. Without music playing a major part of my education, I would never have learnt the importance of patience and dedication when striving to achieve something.
For all boys, an education is something that is essential in their journey from child to manhood, but a boys’ education will give students a great advantage in life.