What have researchers found when they compare single-sex education sex educational books coeducation? Let’s begin with two recent studies in which students were RANDOMLY assigned either to single-gender or coed classrooms, with no opt-out. We are aware of no other studies in which students were randomly assigned either to single-gender or coed classrooms, with no parental opt-out allowed. In the first study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania traveled to Seoul South Korea, because in Seoul, students are RANDOMLY assigned either to single-gender or to coed high schools.
The assignment is truly random, and compulsory. Students cannot “opt out” of either the single-gender format or the coed format. This policy of random assignment was instituted in 1974 specifically to prevent clustering of students from particular backgrounds at particular schools. The scholars from Penn recognized that the random nature of the assignment creates the opportunity to compare single-gender schools with coed schools, without the usual confounding variables which would accompany any attempt at a similar comparison among North American schools.
As the authors observe, this study is the first large-scale study of students RANDOMLY assigned to single-gender and coed schools. Our only concern with the article is with its underlying premise: namely, that either single-gender or coed must be “best. We believe that premise is fundamentally mistaken. The single-gender format is better for some students, and coed is better for others, as we stress on our new web site, The National Association for Choice in Education. The all-girls format can greatly enhance the engagement of girls in physics. That reality was demonstrated most dramatically by the research of Bettina Hannover and Ursula Kessels.