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Why single-sex schools? Discourses of culture/faith and achievement

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This paper is developed from a study carried out to explore factors influencing the choices of a range of stake-holders in a multi-ethnic urban community - students, parents, teachers, community representatives - with regard to single-sex schooling. The paper discusses competing perspectives underpinning the focus of the study. Recent legislation in America approving single-sex schooling (Hutchison Amendment in June 2001), and increased provision of single-sex classes in UK and elsewhere have augmented the debates around single-sex education and achievement. However, another important but less explored aspect is association between single-sex education and culture/faith in certain communities/countries. In today's multi-ethnic multi-faith societies, it is highly significant to look at schooling preferences from the perspectives of different groups and communities for the purposes of responding to their needs and expectations. This paper extends the debate by discussing the impact of culture and faith on school choices with regard to single-sex versus co-educational schooling.
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Keywords: culture; diversity; ethnicity; gender issues; single sex education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Leicester, UK 2: Nottingham City Children's Services, UK

Publication date: 2009-06-01

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