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An Action Research Project Andreali Dharampaul EDU 7202 Spring 11’ Single Gender Classrooms vs. Mixed Gender Classrooms: The Effects of Peer Relations.

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Presentation on theme: "An Action Research Project Andreali Dharampaul EDU 7202 Spring 11’ Single Gender Classrooms vs. Mixed Gender Classrooms: The Effects of Peer Relations."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Action Research Project Andreali Dharampaul EDU 7202 Spring 11’ Single Gender Classrooms vs. Mixed Gender Classrooms: The Effects of Peer Relations and Academic Success in Pre-K.

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction - Statement of the Problem - Literature Review - Statement of the Hypothesis Method - Participants - Instrument Experimental Design - Procedure Results Discussion Implications References

3 INTRODUCTION & STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Introduction: Boys and girls have different learning styles Title IX regulations Single sex schools show improvement in academic success in the upper grades Statement of the Problem : Many researchers have concluded that sex composition plays a role in the outcome of a student’s academic success and peer relations in the classroom. Although there is research that concludes the effect sex composition has on a childhood student’s academic success and peer relations, not much research has been done in early childhood education to support this theory. Is a student’s academic success and peer relation influenced by their classroom sex composition in early childhood or is it irrelevant during these early stages in their education?

4 LITERATURE REVIEW (PRO) Female students profit less than male students in cooperative learning when in a mixed gendered science classroom. (Ding, Harskamp & Suhre, 2008). Students enrolled in a same sex science classroom demonstrated more positive science achievement. (Friend, 2006). Same sex classrooms have a positive outcome for both boys and girls academic success, increased student commitment and fewer sexually stereotyped behaviors. (Forbes- Jones, Friedman, Hightower & Moller, 2008; Cohen & Barton, 2004; Jorgensen & Pfeiler, 2008, Hutton, Kilpatrick & Wills, 2006). Boys struggle academically because boys and girls are biologically and developmentally different. ( Okopny, 2008; Hutton, Kilpatrick & Wills, 2006; Kommer, 2006, Laster, 2004, Whitehead, 2006). Girls show greater academic competence when less time was spent with the same sex, and boys showed less academic competence when more time was spent with same sex peers in preschool. (Fabes, Martin, Hanish, Anders & Madden- Derdich, 2003, Laster, 2004).

5 LITERATURE REVIEW (CON) Sex accounts for less than 2% to 5% in most studies that focus on behavior, spatial, language and/ or mathematical abilities. In contrast for choice of play partners sex accounts for 70% to 80% in early childhood. (Palmer, 2004). Children between the ages of three and five show evidence of stereotypical gender cues & such segregation may lead to limited opportunities in their education and careers in the future. (Palmer, 2004; Okopny, 2008; Medina, 2009; Hutton, Kilpatrick & Wills. 2006). Boys form larger mutual friendships where as girls experience a negative change in social behaviors. (Cohen & Barton, 2004; Forbes- Jones, Friedman, Hightower & Moller, 2008). Girls seek close proximity behaviors when boys are the majority. (Fabes, Martin, Hanish, Anders & Madden- Derdich, 2003; Cohen & Barton, 2004; Forbes- Jones, Friedman, Hightower & Moller, 2008).

6 STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS HR1: Over a four week instruction period, teacher X will separate her mixed gender pre- k classroom into a single gender classroom implementing lessons in an urban private school located in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Separating her students into single sex classrooms will allow teacher X to make observations on peer relations and compare test scores on their academic success (using the same instruments) to those of her normal mixed gender classroom setting, measuring the effectiveness of single gender instruction in early childhood.

7 METHOD Participants: Twenty pre-schooler’s between ages four and five from an urban private preschool in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. Week one and two - ½ day mixed gender instruction - 20 pre-schooler’s Week three and four - ½ day single gender instruction - 12 girls - 8 boys

8 METHOD Instruments: - Parental Consent Forms & Surveys: *Frequency, Preference & Demographics - Pre & Post Test * Reading Comprehension (both groups) * Addition (Mixed Gender) * Fractions (Single Gender) - Student Questionnaire's * Feedback on intervention - Teacher Observations *Peer interactions amongst both groups Experimental Design: Quasi-Experimental: Non equivalent control group design Two groups: Designated treatment group (X1) & control group (X2) *not randomly assigned Symbolic Design: O X1 O O X2 O

9 THREATS TO VALIDITY Internal * History * Maturation * Testing/ Pre-test Sensitization * Instrumentation * Differential Selection of Subjects * Selection- Maturation Interaction External * Ecological * Generalizable conditions * Experimenter Effects (active elements: personal bias) * Selection- Treatment Interaction

10 PROCEDURE Parental consents & surveys are distributed. Mixed gender: (1/2 day session: 2 ½ hours) * pre- test: reading comprehension & math (addition) * intervention (two weeks/ 20 preschoolers) * post- test: reading comprehension & math (addition) ** observations on peer relations are made by the teacher Single gender: (1/2 day session: 2 ½ hours) * pre- test: reading comprehension & math (addition) * intervention (two weeks/ 12 G & 8 B) * post- test: reading comprehension & math (addition) ** observations on peer relations are made by the teacher Student Questionnaire’s

11 RESULTS Frequency question: “How often do you read to your child” **.71 or.7rxy fair positive correlation (1)Never (2) Sometimes (3) Often (4) Always Preference question: “I check my child’s homework” **.11 or.1rxy no correlation (1) Strongly disagree (2) Disagree (3) Agree (4) Strongly Agree

12 RESULTS Mixed Gender: -Reading comprehension t.s.a increased by 8% and math skills decreased by 4%. Single Gender: -Reading comprehension t.s.a increased by 15% and math skills increased by 12.5%.

13 RESULTS Boys post-test scores were better in a mixed gender setting and girls post-test scores were better in a single gender setting. Single gender P.T.S are 3.1% higher than mixed gender P.T.S. Overall test score averages showed a higher increase of 12% when given single gender instruction

14 56% 69.5% 83% 96.5% 110% Mixed Gender Post Test Score Distribution Single Gender Post Test Score Data Distribution 62.1% 74.1% 86.1% 98.1% 110.1% DATA DISTRIBUTION Mean: 83% Lowest score: 40% Highest score:100% SD: % +/- 1 SD *represents a normal curve Mean: 86.1% Lowest score: 60.5% Highest score:100% SD:12 55% +/- 1 SD *does not represent a normal curve 45% 35% 30% 25%

15 DISCUSSION & IMPLICATIONS DISCUSSION: Both reading comprehension and math skills increased in S.G instruction Overall post test scores showed a higher increase from pre test score averages to post test scores in a S.G instruction. Males test scores were higher in a M.G setting compared to female test scores. Females test scores were higher in a single gender classroom setting. Students elicit stereotypical behaviors in both settings. Girls were confrontational, territorial, and formed cliques & boys were active, noisy but cooperative. IMPLICATIONS: More research is needed Longer period of time Bigger class sample Equal number of students by gender More subjects More than one setting

16 REFERENCES Anders, M. C., Fabes, R. A., Hanish, L. D., Madden-Derdich, D. A., & Martin, C. L. (2003). Early school competence: the roles of sex-segregated play and effortful control. Developmental Psychology, 39(5), Badgett, A. B., Hoffman, H. B., & Parker, R. P. (2008). The effect of single-sex instruction in a large, urban, at- risk high school. The Journal of Educational Research, 102(1), Bukowski, W. M., Lopez, L. S. et al. (2010). Context-dependent victimization and aggression: differences between all-girl and mixed-sex schools. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 56(3), Cohen, R., & Barton, B. K. (2004). Classroom gender composition and children’s peer relations. Child Study Journal, 34(1), Datnow, A. & Hubbard, L. (2005). Do single-sex schools improve the education of low income and minority students? An investigation of california’s public single-gender academies. Anthropology & Education Quarterly, 36(2), Ding, N., Harskamp, E., & Suhre, C. (2008). Group composition and its effect on female and male problem-solving in science education. Educational Research, 50(4), Ewing, E. T. (2006). The repudiation of single-sex education: boys’ schools in the soviet union, American Educational Research Journal, 43(4), Fabes, R. A., Hanish, L. D., & Martin, C. L (2004). The next 50 years: considering gender as a context for understanding young children’s peer relationships. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 50(3), Fergusson, D. M., Horwood, J. L. & Gibb, J. S. (2008). Effects of single-sex and coeducational schooling on the gender gap in educational achievement. Australian Journal of Education, 52(3), Friedman, R., Hightower, D. A, Jones, F. E., & Moller, A.C. (2008). The developmental influence of sex composition in preschool classrooms: boys fare worse in preschool classrooms with more boys. Early Childhood Quarterly, 23(3), Friend, J. (2006). Research on same-gender grouping in eighth grade science classrooms. Research in Middle Level Education Online, 30(4), Hutton, B., Kilpatrick, S., & Wills, R. (2006). Single-sex classes in co-educational schools. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 27(3), Jorgensen, N. S., & Pfeiler, C. (2008). Successsful single-sex offerings in the choral department. Music Educators Journal, 95(5),

17 REFERENCES Joshi, H., Leonard, D., & Sullivan, A. (2010). Single sex schooling and academic attainment at school and through the lifecourse. American Educational Research Journal, 47(1), Katsurada, E. & Sugihara, Y. (2002). Gender-role identity, attitudes toward marriage, and gender- segregated school backgrounds. Sex Roles, 47(5/6), Keating, D. P., & Shapra, J. D. (2003). Effects of a girls-only curriculum during adolescence: performance, persistence, engagement in mathematics and science. American Educational Research Journal, 40(4), Kommer, D. (2006, July/August). Boys and girls together: a case for creating gender- friendly middle school classrooms. The Clearing House, Lenroot, R. K. et al. (2007). Sexual dimorphism of brain trajectories during childhood and adolescence. Neuroimage, 36(2007), Laster, C. (2004, September). Why we must try same sex instruction. Education Digest, Lingard, B., Martino, W., & Mills, M. (2005). Interrogating single-sex classes as a strategy for addressing boys’ educational and social needs. Oxford Review of Education, 31(2), Medina, J. (2009, March 11). Boys and girls together, taught separately in public school. The New York Times. Retrieved from Meyer, P. (2008). Learning separately: the case for single-sex schools. Education Next, 8(1). Okopny, C. (2008). Why jimmy isn’t failing: the myth oof the boy crisis. Feminist Teacher, 18(3), Salomone, C. R. (2006). Single-sex programs: resolving the research conundrum. Teachers College Record, 108(4), Velasquez, A. M. (2010). Context-dependent victimization and aggression: differences between all-girl and mixed-sex schools. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 56(3), Whitehead, J. M (2006). Starting school-why girls are already ahead of boys. Teacher Development, 10(2),


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