Single Gender Education
Why Separate Boys and Girls?
The Cranbrook Kingswood Middle School is committed to single-gender education, which provides separate environments and programs for boys and girls during a critical point in their development as students and young men and women. We believe that by offering supportive environments tailor-made to the needs of boys and girls at this age, we provide an extraordinary opportunity for students to increase self-confidence, possess more positive attitudes toward school and homework, and achieve better academic performance.
A Single-Gender Classroom
By separating students by gender, we are not simply changing the social dynamics of the school. While it is true that middle school presents new challenges for peer groups that can be exacerbated by the physical and emotional changes that affect adolescent boys and girls so differently, the single-gender approach goes much deeper than these interactions. A single-gender classroom encourages greater participation from all students, more verbal contributions from even the quietest in the classroom, and a stronger bond between students and teachers. By avoiding the added pressure of interacting with members of the opposite sex, students lose certain inhibitions in the classroom and connect much more closely with the material.
Looking at the Differences
Girls like to talk and verbally reason, and boys like to be more physically active in school. In mixed classrooms, girls can feel silenced or shy in front of boys; and boys, who feel "on stage" and uncomfortable, don't take many positive risks. Our teachers in single-gender classrooms avoid these pitfalls by coordinating their lessons with the students' strengths and needs. Because they are specifically trained to work with adolescent boys or girls, our teachers are more sensitive to the particular needs of each child. They design classroom activities and programs that work within the context and learning style of their students.
Separate But Still Interacting
Although the Boys' and Girls' Middle School programs are housed on two separate campuses, they are unified in many ways. The core curriculum for both schools is the same, with specific modifications for reading materials and time-frames that are appropriate to boys and girls. There are several special events, socials, and joint-projects that allow boys and girls to interact with one another socially, academically, and athletically. Likewise, there are several activities that bring the teachers from both campuses together to collaborate, map curriculum, and exchange feedback.
Providing a Safe Environment
Overall, we provide safe environments for boys and girls to learn and develop at their own pace. We recognize the importance of the middle school years developmentally, scholastically, and socially, and we do our best to provide our students with the tools they need to become confident, self-actualized individuals. The environments we provide for our students encourage them to engage in academics, take intelligent risks, set high goals, build self-confidence, and become leaders.