Grace-St. Luke's believes a coed school is the best option for students from preschool through middle school. Over the years, neuroscientists and psychologists have done research to support this model.
As students move through their academic journey and into careers, they will be naturally surrounded by both genders. Teachers at GSL are intentional about emphasizing the importance of respecting and working with all people — including those of the opposite sex — beginning at two years old.
Researchers with the American Council for Coeducational Schooling (ACCES) say that students should be taught to focus on school work in a coed setting, just as they will be expected to work in a coed environment. They go on to say that coed schools allow students to interact with the opposite gender and to develop skills similar to those they will need in the workplace.
Students at GSL learn through various experiences from their teachers, as well as the students around them. The coed setting broadens a student’s understanding of how things are viewed, interpreted and understood from various perspectives.
A 2008 school desegregation statement of research prepared for the U.S. Supreme Court states that in order to be successful, children must learn to live and work with others who are different. Girls and boys will be more successful when they can use a combination of skills traditionally associated with each gender.ˆ This can be accomplished when boys and girls are given the chance to learn skills and different perspectives from each other in a coed environment.
ˆOrfield, G., Frankenberg, E., & Garces, L. M. “Statement of American social scientists of research on school desegregation to the U.S. Supreme Court in Parents v. Seattle District and Meredith v. Jefferson County.” Urban Review, 20. 2008. pp. 96-136.
In an interview with the American Psychological Association, Diane Halpern, author of Sex Differences in Girls and Boys said, “School is preparation for adult life. How can boys and girls learn how to interact as equals in the workplace if they have no experience interacting as equals in school?”
In an article titled “Why Coeducation Matters,” Neuroscientist and Blue Brain, Pink Brain Author Lise Eliot states, “If we really want women and men to be equal partners in both the home and workplace, they need to be raised and educated in a truly gender-inclusive way, where both sexes learn through repeated experiences how to respect, collaborate with, and lead each other.”
Research shows that children are aware of gender stereotypes as young as two years old. Many factors influence a child’s understanding of gender stereotypes, including society, family, and school.
In 2013, a team of researchers found that students, when segregated, tend to conform to gender stereotypes. This team published a report about the role schools play in teaching children about gender differences. In this report, they conclude that educators who “...promote cross-gender interaction expose pupils to counter-stereotypic models, and discuss and teach challenges to gender stereotyping, optimize their pupils’ developmental outcomes.”
Lise Eliot comes to the same conclusion in her book Pink Brain, Blue Brain. She states that “...coed classes are ultimately a better environment for deflating stereotypes of the opposite sex, just as any stereotype withers when you get to know people as individuals.”