For a long time, education has been argued to be the most important aspect of both personal and societal development. Undoubtedly, having high literacy levels in society will increase productivity, reduce crime rates and also reduce unemployment rates for the benefit of everyone else in the society. Following this premise, President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001 which was intended to encourage school systems to establish new and innovative programs that would ensure every child gets the maximum out of education. It was then that some argued for same-sex schools as one of the innovative systems that would increase academic excellence among the learners. Along the way, many arguments have been brought forward to support same-sex schools. Some say such schools allow for the use of support materials that specifically and profoundly address the needs of a single gender. Others claim the existence of positive behavioral and academic interactions between students and teachers in same-sex schools that in mixed ones. Supporters further indicate decreased distractions in same-sex schools leading to more focus on important academic work and excellence.
However, in my thesis, I intend to differ from this position and argue that although same-sex schools may be helpful to the learners, these benefits are short-term locking them out of the long-term gains from a mixed-sex school including social skills, how best to work with different genders and reducing sex relate stereotyping. The purpose of education is not merely to prepare young children for academic excellence; rather it is a way of grooming them to be sociable elements in the society who can interact and work with both genders. To support this thesis, I will be investigating the long-term gains from being educated in a mixed school instead of a single sex one to uncover psychological, emotional and general social benefits reaped. I will then link these gains to work environment expectations to show that indeed mixed schools better adapt the learners for adulthood and corresponding responsibilities.
My intended audience is the policymakers in the education sector. Currently, policymakers in the education sector are in a dilemma situation whether to promote same or mixed-sex schools. They are looking forward to researchers who can generate sufficient evidence to support either side or form the foundation for the most innovative education system to implement. The policymakers are not yet decided, and they need data to back either same or mixed-sex schools. This study, therefore, advances to inform the policymakers that same-sex schools are disadvantageous to the learner's future preparedness to face adulthood and handle responsibilities and they should think otherwise when developing policies towards implementation of effective educational systems.
To ensure that I provide useful data in my thesis to support policy making, I will need to use multiple sources to collect and collate data for well-supported arguments. To be able to use multiple sources, I will plan my research to ensure I have enough time to collect data and analyze it. As a beginning, I will conduct a literature review to familiarize with both sides of the debate and see what the other scholars have concluded. This will help me appreciate both sides of the debate and proceed to build on one said that I believe will be beneficial to the learner. Besides literature review and synthesis, I will conduct personal interviews with various knowledgeable people in the field of education to capture their opinions on the importance of mixed-sex schools as opposed to same sex. I will interview psychologists, school heads, teachers, and sociologists. Psychologists will help me gather data on whether mixing both genders during young age has an impact on the development of social skills and erasing gender stereotypes among individuals as they grow up. School heads and teachers will enhance my thesis by providing benefits supporting mixed gender learning environments while sociologists will help in the further understanding importance of gender interactions in adjusting for adulthood and mixed working environments.
As I prepare to start my research work, I am aware that many scholars have explored this topic in detail and answered several questions regarding advantages and disadvantages of same-sex schools. My research work will build from these studies but proceed past the benefits of mixed-sex schools into linking those gains to the adulthood life; social skills, interactions and productivity in mixed work environments. The study will be analyzing the discussion as to whether same-sex schools should be the way to go or not with a focus on long-term effects on the social development of an individual and shifting discussions towards eradication of negative social problems such as gender segregation that may be cultivated in same-sex schools. Therefore, the study will not only benefit me in knowing the gains of mixed-sex schools to an individual's social skill development but allow the policy makers to understand how corporate social problems such as social segregation may be eliminated as early as during childhood education by mixing genders in learning environments and helping delete gender stereotypes.
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