This week in our continuing look at academic research into the benefits of girls only schooling I am focusing on a December 2018 U.S. study by Tiffani Riggers-Piehl, Gloria Lim, and Karen King. This particular study, published by the Higher Education Research Institute at University of California, delved into the effect of girls only schooling on the transition to university. The research team looked at 6000 incoming female university students and found that those coming from a girls only school had higher levels of science self-confidence, consider themselves to be critical thinkers, score higher on measures of academic habits of mind and demonstrated stronger study habits. The results confirmed a 2005 study from the same institute. More specifically, the research found over 80 statistically significant differences between females from mixed gender and girls only schools.
Girls school graduates:
were more likely to seek alternate solutions to problems
more frequently explored topics independently
more frequently supported arguments with logic
have stronger critical thinking skills
more often study with and tutor peers, and
spend more time doing homework
The study also found a higher involvement in political, community and volunteer engagement.
Whilst the study did not come to conclusions on how girls only schooling imparts these advantages, it is clear that students coming from girls only schools are advantaged for university success.
Full details of the study are available from:
Dr John Fry
Dean of Senior Studies