Same, Different, Equal: Rethinking Single-Sex Schooling

Same, Different, Equal: Rethinking Single-Sex Schooling

by Rosemary C. Salomone
     
 

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Although coeducation has been the norm within private and public schools since the 1970s, single-sex education has staged a comeback in recent years as a means of addressing the academic and social problems faced by some students. Single-sex education raises controversy on ideological grounds, and in 1996 the Supreme Court struck down the all-male admissions policy at… See more details below

Overview

Although coeducation has been the norm within private and public schools since the 1970s, single-sex education has staged a comeback in recent years as a means of addressing the academic and social problems faced by some students. Single-sex education raises controversy on ideological grounds, and in 1996 the Supreme Court struck down the all-male admissions policy at the Virginia Military Institute in a decision that has cast a legal cloud over public initiatives. In this timely book, Rosemary Salomone offers a reasoned educational and legal argument supporting single-sex education as an alternative to coeducation, particularly in the case of disadvantaged minority students.

Salomone examines the history of women’s education and exclusion, philosophical and psychological theories of sameness and difference, findings on educational achievement and performance, the research evidence on single-sex schooling, and the legal questions that have arisen. Correcting many of the current misconceptions about single-sex education, she argues that it is a viable option and that the road to gender equality should be paved with diverse educational opportunities for all students—regardless of race, class, or gender.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
An expert on single-sex schooling enters the contentious public discussion with an even-handed and exhaustive examination of the history and politics of gender and education. Salomone, a law professor at St. John's Univ., makes a convincing, pragmatic argument: voluntary single-sex education is a legally acceptable option that ought to be widely available in the U.S., especially for disadvantaged children. In her most vivid chapter, she looks at three all-girl public schools in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia, reporting succinctly on the tradition of excellence all three claim. Salomone contextualizes these case studies and the current debate with an overview of the contemporary canon of thought about gender identity, an exercise that will cover familiar ground for many educators. Salomone also provides a confident analysis of the legal questions at stake. Based on the "separate is inherently unequal" legacy of the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision, liberal organizations such as the ACLU, NOW, the NAACP and the AAUW have spoken against and filed lawsuits to stop single-sex education. Salomone also considers the implications of the 1996 Supreme Court ruling against the all-male admissions policies of the Virginia Military Institute (with implications for similar litigation against the Citadel), Title IX and other legal decisions that have affected the issue. Salomone's digest of the results of experiments in single-sex teaching-among both boys and girls-is dense with statistics, but makes an effective point: the research, taken as a whole, doesn't inarguably refute or support single-gender schooling. In the end, Salomone's simple declaration that single-sex education is not harmful, and, in fact, might be beneficial to needy students feels self-evident, but nonetheless necessary in a complicated ongoing debate. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"A carefully organized, often lively . . . compendium of everything that matters in the debate: how boys and girls do in classes and on tests, their differing learning styles, and the legal tussles.”—Timothy A. Hacsi, New York Times

“Smart, objective, evenhanded. Must reading in this important debate.”—Susan Estrich, University of Southern California Law School

“The single best book I have read about single-sex education. A must-read for every educator.”—Michael Thompson, Ph.D, coauthor of Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300129144
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
10/01/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
3 MB

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