Date of Award


Degree Type



Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Moore, James

Subject Headings

Single-sex schools, Single-sex classes (Education), Sex differences in education, Brain -- Sex differences, single gender education, differentiated instruction, sex differences in brain, learning


A developing trend in the world of education is separating students by gender via single gender schools, classrooms, or separation for certain subjects. The goal is finding out whether or not this segregation is beneficial to student achievement, if boys and girls learn differently, and whether or not these differences are biological or due to socialization. It is important to find these answers for educators to best serve their students. The approach was a review of the available literature, analyzing the studies involving student achievement at single gender schools, and studies about the differences in between the male and female brain and how the structure relates to their behavior. The research findings determined that there are significant differences in how boys learn versus girls. It happens extremely early on in life, if not prior to birth. There is compelling evidence for both biological and sociological influences. It is inconclusive to what extent each factors in to the equation. The research indicates that single gender schooling may be most beneficial for students in certain circumstances. Single gender schools have produced great gains in student achievement in areas with a disproportionately high population of "at risk" children. However, the study is limited in the lack of history for these programs, and the amount of variables involved. Schools that implement single gender programs may also have other distinct features that contribute their success such as more professional development for teachers, more community support, or a number of other factors. This remains a crucial topic for further research. It is essential to improve in the field of education to adapt to the needs of the constantly changing world

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