An individual’s self-belief and expectation of personal and professional success is a primary driver to achieving that success. This can be seen where very often children born into socioeconomically disadvantaged communities are more likely to grow into similarly disadvantaged circumstances. The same is true of socially advantaged children. Of course, there are a multitude of reasons why that may occur and quite obviously, opportunity presents differently in different circumstances. A common factor for a failure to break negative cycles is a shared common acceptance of lower expectation. The attitudes and expectations of one’s peers is a strong indicator of one’s own attitudes and expectations. For girls, this especially bears out in how the gender setting of their schooling affects expectations and henceforth their ultimate outcomes.
The study Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools’ (Holmgren, 2014) for the National Coalition of Girls Schools reported that girls in single-sex schools have higher motivation, are more engaged in their work, are more challenged and perhaps most importantly, have higher aspirations and expectations than girls who attend coeducational schools. This is true for both private and public-school settings.
Students at all girls’ schools set high standards for themselves. Ninety percent agree with the statement ‘I take pride in the quality of my schoolwork’, which compares favourably to the response of girls at coeducational independent and public schools.
Virtually all students at all-girls schools expect to earn a four year degree and more than two-thirds expect to earn a graduate or professional degree. This compares favourably to the response of girls enrolled at coeducational independent and public schools.
The shared high standards, aspirations and expectations of girls in single-sex schools such as Girls Grammar is perpetuating and leads to advantage over girls from coeducational schools both in the short and long term.
Holmgren, Richard A. (2014) “Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools’” for the National Coalition of Girls Schools
Dr John Fry
Deputy Principal - Studies