Single Gender Math and Science
At St. Anne’s-Belfield School, fifth and sixth grade math and science classes are grouped by gender, with lessons designed to meet the distinct learning styles of boys and girls.
Research has shown that boys tend to be deductive thinkers who begin with general concepts and move to specific cases. When involved in a task, boys talk less and often prefer to work alone. Movement helps to stimulate their brains and reduce impulsive behavior. Boys possess good spatial reasoning and abstract thinking skills and learn well with visual presentations.
Research has also shown that girls tend to be more inductive thinkers who move from the concrete to general theory and do better when given examples. At this age, they are often approximately one and one-half years ahead of the boys in reading and writing competency. When involved in tasks, they verbalize what they are learning and find it easier to work in collaborative groups.
In addition to tailoring lessons to best suit the learning styles of each gender, removing psychosocial stresses and allowing students to feel more comfortable being themselves helps to alleviate distracts stemming from attempting to impress or compete with the opposite sex.
Students continue to be grouped heterogeneously in fifth and sixth grade English/history classes. Students of both genders benefit from working together to improve skills that are not innately easy. These class discussions about "human" issues are also strengthened by the diversity of coed classes.