Etiology of Single Sex vs Coed PE

Single Sex Schooling

Single sex schools were prevalent prior to the nineteenth century. Particularly in religous affiliations. There is a new movement to include single sex classes in coed schools other than PE.

Coed Schooling

Coed schools became more prevalent after the nineteenth century. Students were combined in heterogeneous groupings to accomodate mass education.

Switch from Single Sex Classes to Coed Classes in Physical Education

Coed classes were introduced in the US as a response to Title IX.

Underlying Issues

Research Based Benefits to Single Sex Physical Education Classes

  • Girls have been found to be less self conscious

  • Boys have been found to be more active

Researched Based Detriments to Single Sex Physical Education Classes

  • Girls spent less time in the optimal heart rate zone

  • Pedometer results have shown that single sex classes had fewer steps

Research Based Benefits of Coed Physical Education Classes

  • "able to interact with the opposite gender" (Osborne, Bauer, & Sutliff, 2002, p.83)

  • increased challenge for competitive girls (Williams, Bedward, & Woodhouse, 2000)

  • equal opportunity to experience all activities

Researched Detriments of Coed Physical Education

  • teacher issues: "extra time spent on gender related issues, safety issues and an overall disappointment with achievement for both genders during class" (Rustad, 2007, p.10)

  • girls and boys have different preferences of activities

Student Perceptions

  • generally, male students receive more attention in class from teachers than do female student even though both males and females perceived it as equal attention from the teacher.

  • girls with low perceived confidence will have decreasing enjoyment in PE which worsens over-time

  • boys and girls perceived that they had more opportunities and played team sports more effectively in same-sex environments

Guiding Questions

  1. Is it our responsibility to address the societal gender biases within our schools and classes?
  2. Is there enough evidence to inform our opinions about this issue?
  3. Would you consider teaching and assessing a coed class as two segregate classes?
  4. In instances where students can choose either model, are they informed enough to know the rammifications of their choice?
  5. What can we as post graduate students do to educate school leaders to base their scheduling practices on evidence based outcomes?