The All-Girl Advantage

 

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1. INSPIRATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

Girls’ take center stage in all-girls learning environments.

“Single-sex programs…create an institutional and classroom climate in which female students can express themselves freely and frequently, and develop higher order thinking skills.”

—Dr. Rosemary C. Salomone, Columbia University’s Teacher College Record

The robust learning environment encountered by students at all-girls schools is highlighted by a recent survey of high school students. The girls’ responses provide unequivocal support for the value of an all-girls educational environment.

—Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

2. ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

All-girls learning environments create a culture of achievement.

“Females especially do better academically in single-sex schools and colleges across a variety of cultures. …Single-sex schools help to improve student achievement.”

—Dr. Cornelius Riordan, Providence College, Girls and Boys in School: Together or Separate?

3. BUILDS SELF-CONFIDENCE

A girl occupies every role in all-girls learning environments.

The majority – 60% – of girls’ school grads report higher self-confidence over their coed peers (54%).

—Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College

4. DEVELOPS LEADERSHIP SKILLS

All-girls learning environments empower students to become bold leaders.

93% of girls’ school grads say they were offered greater leadership opportunities than peers at coed schools and 80% have held leadership positions since graduating from high school.

—Goodman Research Group, The Girls’ School Experience: A Survey of Young Alumnae of Single-Sex Schools

Programs at girls’ schools focus on the development of teamwork over other qualities of leadership, while the qualities of confidence, compassion, and resilience also ranked prominently.

—Dr. Nicole Archard, Student Leadership Development in Australian and New Zealand Secondary Girls’ Schools: A Staff Perspective

5. SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING & MATH (STEM)

All-girls learning environments champion the educational needs of girls as a group currently underrepresented in STEM majors and careers.

Girls’ school grads are 6 times more likely to considering majoring in math, science, and technology compared to girls who attend coed schools.

—Goodman Research Group, The Girls’ School Experience: A Survey of Young Alumnae of Single-Sex Schools

Compared to coed peers, girls’ school grads are 3 times more likely to consider engineering careers.

—Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College

6. DEDICATED TO HOW GIRLS LEARN

All-girls learning environments capitalize on girls’ unique learning styles.

“More positive academic and behavioral interactions [were observed] between teachers and students in the single-sex schools than in the comparison to coed schools.”

—U.S. Department of Education, Early Implementation of Public Single-Sex Schools: Perceptions and Characteristics

To be successful, students need more than just a feeling of support. That support must translate into actions geared toward student success. Nearly 96% of girls’ school students report receiving more frequent feedback on their assignments and other course work than girls at coed at schools.

—Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

7. HIGHER ASPIRATIONS

Students in all-girls learning environments strive for greatness.

“Girls at all levels of achievement in the single-sex schools receive a…benefit from the single-sex school environment in terms of heightened career aspirations—an effect unprecedented in any other portion of our study.”

—Dr. Cary M. Watson, Stanford University, Sex Roles: A Journal of Research

Students at all-girls schools have higher aspirations and greater motivation than their female peers at coed independent and public schools. 98.7% of students at all-girls schools expect to earn a four-year degree. More than 2/3 expect to earn a graduate or professional degree.

—Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

8. EXCELLENT MENTORING

Students in all-girls learning environments are supported by a community of peers, teachers, and school administrators.

The overwhelming majority of girls’ school students agree to strongly agree that they feel supported at their schools: 95% feel supported by their teachers (compared to 84% of girls at coed schools), 90% report feeling supported by other students (compared to 73% of girls at coed schools), and 83% feel supported by their school administrators (compared 63% of girls at coed schools).

—Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

9. PREPARES GIRLS FOR THE REAL WORLD

All-girls learning environments engage students in activities that prepare them for life beyond the classroom.

Nearly half – 45% – of all women graduating from single-sex schools rate their public speaking ability as high compared to 39% of women graduates from coed schools. A similar differential exists for writing abilities: 64% of girls’ school graduates assess their writing as high, compared to 59% of women graduates of coed schools.

—Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College

10. ALLOWS GIRLS TO BE THEMSELVES

All-girls learning environments provide a space where students feel safe to express themselves and engage in an open and safe exchange of ideas.

87% of girls’ school students agree to strongly agree that their opinions are respected at their school (compared to 58% of girls at coed schools), and 89% report they are comfortable to be themselves (compared to 72% of girls at coed schools).

—Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

11. FREE FROM STEREOTYPES

In all-girls learning environments there are no stereotypes about what girls like or where they excel.

“Girls as young as six can be led to believe men are inherently smarter and more talented than women, making girls less motivated to pursue novel activities or ambitious careers.”

—Dr. Sarah-Jane Leslie, Princeton University and Dr. Andrei Cimpian, New York University, Gender Stereotypes About Intellectual Ability Emerge Early and Influence Children’s Interests

“All-girls educational environments negate this societal norm by providing opportunities for girls during a critical time in their growth and development. Not only do girls receive a wealth of avenues for self-exploration and development, they also see a wealth of peer role models. Girls need to ‘see it, to be it’ to make them more aware of the possibilities in their own lives and help set them on their own brilliant paths.”

—Megan Murphy, Executive Director, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools

12. FINDING HER VOICE

In all-girls learning environments girls are free to find and use their voice and speak without interruption.

“Academic studies and countless anecdotes make it clear that being interrupted, talked over, shut down or penalized for speaking out is nearly a universal experience for women when they are outnumbered by men.”

—The New York Times, “The Universal Phenomenon of Men Interrupting Women.”

Girls’ school students are more likely than their female peers at coed schools to experience an environment that welcomes an open and safe exchange of ideas. Nearly 87% of girls’ school students feel their opinions are respected at their school (compared to 58% of girls at coed schools).

—Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools