Should girls and boys learn together?

A long and detailed article in the Sunday N.Y. Times Magazine tells of a rapidly growing movement to establish single sex public schools. Educational theorists point to the differences in the learning styles of boys and girls. The majority of boys tend to be active and focused on objects, while girls focus on people and relationships. Parents and teachers have noticed these differences for generations. However, the range is wide and many a girl has been discouraged from studying math or science on the outmoded theory that “girls aren’t good at science” while boys are scorned for choosing art or drama rather than physics and computer science. We live in a world of men and women and children have to learn to get along with both groups. Schools are not just for teaching academic skills, they are also training grounds for adult life. Perhaps we ought to stop paying so much attention to differences between men and women and start celebrating the common interests and talents they share.

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