MEDIA HUB

Curriculum Catch-Up


This week I continue to share research findings about advantages of girls only schooling in the context of Clever, Confident and Connected. Just like last week, I will be looking at a study analysing academic success for girls.

A 2017 study led by Christian Dustmann, Professor of Economics at University College London, expanded upon the notion that pupils from boys only and girls only schools outperform their counterparts in co-educational schools. Professor Dustmann and his peers looked specifically at the academic implications of moving from single-sex schools to mixed gender schools.

This was achieved by studying the results of students in South Korea where government policy resulted in some single sex schools being converted to co-educational facilities. What was observed was a drop in boys results whether or not their new classes were single sex. In the case of girls, results also dropped but only for classes that became mixed gender.

They state “For boys, the disadvantage of co-ed schooling is largely due to exposure to a school-level co-ed environment. For girls, however, it is classroom-level exposure to mixed-gender (versus same-sex) peers that explains the disadvantage from co-ed schooling. While teenage boys may be more likely to be distracted than girls by a mixed-gender school environment, girls may suffer more because of, for instance, an increase in disruptive behaviour, or a diversion of the teacher’s attention…”

This appreciation of a non-disruptive learning environment is something I have witnessed in Girls Grammar classrooms for the best part of two decades.


A full article detailing the study is available from: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12101


Dr John Fry

Dean of Senior Studies

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