Re: Dialogue on Single-Sex Education

Dawn Shelton (
Fri, 24 Apr 1998 10:49:27 -0600

Thank you so much Mr. Bellina. You have spoken the truth as I see and know
it. It is refreshing to see it stated (and I will be accused of sexism for
this comment) but especially by a male faculty member.

Dawn Shelton

At 06:42 PM 4/21/98 -0500, you wrote:
>I have to admit I am biased in this discussion since I am a male faculty
>member...I teach a liberal arts college for women. I firmly
>believe that a college for women provides a safe place for women to test
>the limits, in a way they cannot do in a coed school, where social and
>pedogogical issues overlap.
>I also am very suspicious of anyone who says that classrooms are no
>longer biased in favor of young men. Even in teachers who firmly believe
>that they are unbiased will behave in an unconsciously biased way...and
>they can see it for themselves if they are video or audio taped.
>Regarding the old concern about what will happen when my students enter
>the coed world of work, it seems to me that these young women need to
>know clearly who that are and what they are capable of, so when they run
>into the inevitable gender bias in the work world, they will have a base
>of knowledge about themselves that will give them the personal support
>they need.
>As a physicist who is somewhat familiar with the history of science, I
>am concerned that the reductionist mode of analysis, so successful for
>physicists in the
>late 19th century, but so unsuccessful in the 20th, will be the mode of
>analysis by social and educational research folks when assessing single
>sex and coed education. Frankly I have little confidence in any
>quantitative study which makes definitive claims, since the details are
>far to complex for a reductionist program of research.
>I grant you, that makes meaningful assessment very difficult. If also
>makes meaningful observation and dialogue very important.
>On Tue, 21 Apr
>1998, SSmith wrote:
>> Hello everyone,
>> I think we are losing sight of our topic. We have had an ongoing
>> discussion about education and labor statistics about women and men in
>> the U.S. (and internationally) on EDEQUITY. It's gone on for some
>> time and some people will never convince others that they are wrong in
>> their (mis)interpretation of those numbers, but I'm sure the
>> discussion will go on. Rather than re-hashing the discussion about
>> who is worse off in the education system, I think we should get back
>> to the topic at hand. That is, how does single-sex education stand as
>> a strategy for improving the educational opportunities of girls and
>> boys?
>> Thanks.
>> Susan
>> Susan J. Smith
>> <>

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