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Coed vs. single sex schools

Do girls and boys learn better together or separately?

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Given gender stereotypes and differences between the sexes, the question has yet to be settled: Do girls and boys learn better together or separately?

A key consideration when choosing a private education for a child is whether to go with a single-sex or coeducational school. The right choice will depend on which school of thought on the subject resonates most with you.

David Robertson, headmaster at Shawnigan Lake School, a coed boarding high school in B.C., says boys and girls ultimately have a more enriching educational experience when they get to learn together. "There's a cross-pollination that goes on in the academic environment," Robertson says. "The diligence and attentiveness of girls positively affects boys, while the liveliness of boys inspires girls. They learn from and are inspired by each other."

Coed schools better prepare girls and boys for post-secondary school and employment by providing ongoing opportunities to work together, he adds. "They learn to work together productively, which is what they will be expected to do throughout their life. So there is good preparation happening for university and beyond."

Since coeducation is the norm in North American public schools, most of the research in the field has focused on the efficacy of single-sex education. Single-Sex Education: What Does Research Tell Us?, a 2010 review of several studies on single-sex education in English-speaking countries, found little consensus on whether the option is actually advantageous to girls' and boys' academic achievement.

However, single-sex education proponents argue boys and girls learn differently, and single-sex schools consider these differences to create customized programs that optimize success.

"In coed schools, boys tend to populate the lower end of the academic spectrum," says Brad Adams, executive director of the International Boys' Schools Coalition. "Boys' schools specialize in designing curriculum that hooks boys into learning."

At boys' schools, boys are more engaged in learning without being in a gender pressure cooker, Adams adds.

"They have a longer time to be boys and to explore various interests, for example, in the arts, without getting straitjacketed into some stereotypical gender role, such as the jock," he explains.

The main strength of all-boys and all-girls schools is reflected in the 2008 study Single-Sex Schooling and Academic Attainment at School and Through the Lifecourse. The study found that the option helps students succeed in gender-atypical subjects; for example, girls will perform better in math and science, and boys will do better in English and modern languages.

For girls, much of the benefit lies in developing their personhood in an environment free of persistent traditional gender stereotypes that can hold women back.

"In many ways, gender dynamics have not changed, and in most of the world, public life is still the domain of men, and domestic life that of women," says Burch Ford, president of the U.S.-based National Coalition of Girls' Schools (NCGS). "Girls' schools provide not only a physical but a psychological space where that part of our culture is left at the door, and girls have the freedom to explore who they are and who they want to become."

Girls who attend single-sex schools outscore their coed counterparts on the SAT by an average of 28 to 43 points, and nearly 100 per cent of girls' school graduates go on to college, according to the NCGS.

"In girls' schools, there is no social consequence for speaking out, challenging ideas and being yourself, which allows girls to develop the kind of critical- and creative-thinking skills that are essential in the 21st-century workforce," Ford says.

If you want to compare specific schools one-to-one, visit our compare hub.

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List of Coed vs. single sex schools

 
FILTERS:
Type
Grades
  School Name Type Cost

Robert Land Academy (est. 1978)  

  • Wellandport, Ontario
  • 5 to 12 Boys
  • Boarding school (125 students)
Robert Land Academy is a private military-themed boarding school (Gr 5-12) helping boys to achieve their potential and gain admission to post-secondary programs. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto, Halton-Peel
  • Traditional
$52,650 to $55,000

Our Kids
Review

• Our Kids Review
MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Boys 52650

Crescent School (est. 1913)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 3 to 12 Boys
  • Day school (750 students)
Crescent School is a Toronto independent school for boys only, Grades 3 to 12. Tuition starts at $32,350. Crescent offers a variety of extra-curricular activities including sports, arts, outreach and robotics. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
  • Traditional
$33,250


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys 33250

Upper Canada College (est. 1829)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • SK to 12 Boys
  • Day school (1072 students)
  • Boarding school (88 students)
Located in the heart of Toronto, Upper Canada College is the oldest independent boys' school in Ontario. Our graduates are highly regarded by top universities and post-secondary institutions worldwide. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
  • Liberal Arts
  • International Baccalaureate
$32,650 to $64,205


Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Boys 32650

The Sterling Hall School (est. 1987)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 8 Boys
  • Day school (315 students)
The Sterling Hall School is a leading independent school for boys, JK to Grade 8. We understand how boys learn best and we support each boy in his learning journey. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
  • Progressive
$29,600


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Boys 29600

Northmount School (est. 1990)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • JK to 8 Boys
  • Day school (115 students)
Northmount School offers an enriched curriculum in Catholic education from junior kindergarten to grade eight in Toronto. Its average class size is eight to 15 students. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
  • Liberal Arts
$16,000 to $19,900


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Boys 16000

Hampshire Country School (est. 1948)  

  • Rindge, New Hampshire
  • 3 to 12 Boys
  • Boarding school (25 students)
A friendly, active boarding school for bright boys who have good intentions but who may be too impulsive, intense, or bothersome for other schools and whose intellectual interests may separate them from their peers. [View profile]
  • Liberal Arts
US $60,000


MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Boys 60000

St. Andrew's College (est. 1899)  

  • Aurora, Ontario
  • 5 to 12 Boys
  • Boarding school (253 students)
  • Day school (386 students)
St. Andrew's College offers programs from grades 5 to 12 in Aurora. Its average class size is 17 students. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$35,120 to $63,500


MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Boys 35120

St. Michael's College School (est. 1852)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 7 to 12 Boys
  • Day school (1035 students)
St. Michael's College School offers students in Grades 7-12 an enriched, Catholic, liberal arts education complemented by a diverse co-curricular programme. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
  • Liberal Arts
$19,500


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys 19500

St. Clement's Early Learning School (est. 1955)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • PS to 2 Boys/Coed
  • Day school (25 students)
  • Day school (120 students)
St. Clement's Early Learning School 70 St. Clements Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4R 1H2 St. Clement’s Early Learning School provides a child with an opportunity for growth in all areas of his or her development. [View profile]
  • Progressive
$8,500 to $20,500

User
reviews (1)

• User reviews (1)
Preschool Kindergarten Elementary Day Day Boys Coed 8500

Linbrook School (est. 2014)  

  • Oakville, Ontario
  • JK to 8 Boys
  • Day school (180 students)
Linbrook School is Oakville's only all-boys school. This independent, not-for-profit day school fosters and supports each individual students special skills as an athlete, musician, performer, artist, writer or humanitarian. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Halton-Peel
  • Traditional
$21,100 to $24,885


Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Boys 21100

London International Academy (est. 2002)  

  • London, Ontario
  • 9 to 12 Coed/Boys/Girls
  • Day school (5 students)
  • Boarding school (175 students)
  • Boarding school (175 students)
A Canadian Private Secondary Co-ed Boarding school, located in downtown London, Ontario. LIA offers academic courses from Grades 9-12 and is authorized to grant the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD). [View profile]
  • Traditional
$9,200 to $41,900


HighSchools Day Boarding Boarding Coed Boys Girls 9200

St. Peter's ACHS College School (est. 1990)  

  • Harrow, Ontario
  • 1 to 8 Boys
  • Day school
  • Boarding school
St. Peter's ACHS College School in Amherstburg, Ont. is a day/residency school for boys grades 1-8 who love Sports and the Outdoors. Tuition starts at $8,900. and is a member of OFIS. We put "FUN" back into learning. [View profile]
  • Traditional
$8,900 to $27,400


Elementary MiddleSchools Day Boarding Boys 8900

Royal St. George's College (est. 1964)  

  • Toronto, Ontario
  • 3 to 12 Boys
  • Day school (426 students)
RSGC is an urban day school that combines academic excellence with a stimulating and supportive environment. Our mission is to challenge and inspire each boy to become the best version of himself. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Toronto
  • Progressive
$32,100


MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys 32100

North Point School For Boys (est. 2014)  

  • Calgary, Alberta
  • K to 9 Boys
  • Day school (65 students)
North Point taps into the natural curiosity and energy of boys as a foundation for life-long learning. A strong academic program is just the beginning - we fuel motivation through real-life learning, digital platforms... [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Calgary
  • Progressive
$7,000 to $12,000


Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys 7000

Selwyn House School (est. 1901)  

  • Westmount, Quebec
  • K to 11 Boys
  • Day school (545 students)
Selwyn House School provides a well-rounded education of exceptional depth and scope for boys from Kindergarten to Grade 11. It is located in Westmount, Quebec. [View profile]
School Expo Exhibitor - Montreal
  • Traditional
$18,350 to $23,900


Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boys 18350





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