graduating high school student enters college he or she is perceived to be a young responsible adult in thought and action. However, the college environment is one in which there exists no curfews, parents, or other restrictive elements to curtail an individual's activities and decisions. As such it is important that those students arriving at college have the necessary maturity and life experience background to receive and enjoy an optimal college experience. Many of the elements that are needed for a successful university experience, as well as for an adult life outside of college, may be somewhat elusive but many are also learned during the formative high school years. The present research investigation proposes to address the impact of single sex high schools on those who attend them with respect to their influence on college success The investigator will review previously published literature with respect to single sex high schools and conclude with a proposed method of study for the suggested research study.
Moving from a single sex high school to a coed college will be examined in terms of academic, relationship, and human nature issues. A discussion will be provided regarding possible difficulties that are generally expected in attending same-sex schools, as well as the outcomes. The proposal will also include a discussion about the problem as well as an examination of same sex schools and co-ed schools.
Education, albeit public school, private school, or charter school affiliated, is a process whereby the youth of America are provided and opportunity to receive an education in an environment conducive to learning which, in turn, provides the necessary skills and competencies necessary to enter college and be successful (U.S. Department of Education, 2000). The broadly defined mission of any high school is one of creative growth through social, emotional, and physical development. Although this is sometimes a lofty undertaking, it is one, nonetheless, that is necessary if a successful college education is to be attained. In the twenty first century where mega technology abounds high schools are continually being challenged to prepare students to the rigors of a less supervised, more independent, and more rigorous college experience. In order to meet the challenges high schools, regardless of classification, are put upon to provide students with a learning environment that is wide ranging, socially and academically responsible, and self-motivating (****). Should these characteristics not be built into the school curriculum, a young student entering college is at a disadvantage and the possibility of failure is increased.
No longer can high school teachers simply teach the "three R's" and expect a student to be fully prepared to enter an environment that expects and demands a high level of content knowledge, strong analytical abilities, well developed writing skills, social and emotional maturity, and responsible independence. High schools are now put upon to create learning environments that are in keeping with increased cultural diversity, advanced knowledge systems, and greater societal pressures. Every teacher now has the responsibility to encourage all students to become actively involved in the learning process and to provide interactive opportunities that permit a student to evaluate themselves with respect to the world around them. In the end students themselves will discover their talents, test their limits, and evaluate their success and failures. To this end teachers and students must be provided a well-defined set of goals and expectations and be availed of opportunities that promote, for teacher and student, mutual respect, self-respect, and personal responsibility (Fishman, 2002).
The manner is which schools set about to accomplish their educational objectives in the past has been varied and through different venues. Curriculum specialists, teachers, and psychologists often differ in their opinions, however, as how to deliver, and in what setting, the massive amount of information that is being produced from an advanced technological world. Questions often arise as to the when, where, and how to most effectively set the stage for the desired learning delivery process for there to be success in college. Regardless of one's own theory of education; albeit based on the works of such known educational theorists as Dewey, Erickson, Skinner, Piaget, Maslow, or Papert effective teachers must be equipped to effectuate their style of teaching based upon knowledge information, resource integration, tactical dissemination or instructional strategizing of information, and assessment. No longer can a teacher simply place information in front of a student and expect them to absorb the material without facilitation from the teacher.
As teachers themselves have increased responsibility to provide the best possible secondary education for those entering college the community and local, state and federal governments must participate in any educational process, existing and proposed. To this end all types of schools currently in existence must be accountable with respect to their ability to provide the education that is needed. Remembering that education is not simply the learning of facts, rather a combined system of knowledge dissemination, social responsibility, emotional guidance, and moral consciousness, and brought to life through schools that may be charter affiliated, gender segregated, and private or public designated. No matter the school's charter, all have the responsibility of providing students, that which is required and necessary to be successful in their pursuit of a college education.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Entering college for the first time can be an exciting, yet harrowing, experience for newly graduated high school students. No longer are they bound by family imposed curfews, friendship restrictions, detention halls, or social competitiveness. At the same time these young people must leave behind an environment that oftentimes indulges their pranks, outrages, and emotional swings. The environment from which most are coming is one of dependence, growing up, and sometimes conflicting. Entering freshman students, albeit into a community college, four-year college, or university, are faced with new challenges and situations that have not before been encountered. They are, upon entering the college environment, expected to be responsible, independent and equipped with a skill set needed to satisfy the requirements of a new curriculum and independent living.
When students enter college they are expected to have both the experience and maturity to handle the venture. Students are also expected to be able to interact with many different types of people from both genders in culturally diverse situations. They are expected to understand how to have platonic relationships with the opposite sex so that teams, projects and other events can be fully experienced. One presumption is that attending coed schools leading up to the college encounter will prepare the student for the challenging college experience. On the other side of the coin is the issue of single gender schools and the preparedness students receive in being able to handle a coed college experience. To garner a feeling as to whether or not same sex high schools prepare students for college better than coed schools has long been debated. There are educators who profess that same sex schools provide a less inhibited environment in which to learn as well as providing a milieu for students to pursue opportunities to become leaders and organizers. In fact one notable politician, Senator Hillary Clinton, went as far as to say that public school are entitled to the same single-gender schooling opportunity as those attending exclusive single-gender private schools (Clinton, 2001; Sax, 2002).
The purpose of the proposed study is, through an extensive literature review, to determine whether of not same sex schools provide a greater or lesser quality education to students in preparation for being educated in a coed institution of higher learning. In order to provide insight, and answer the research question, evidence will be weighed as to the pros and cons of the same gender high school. The research variables under consideration will include acquired academic strengths, emotional growth, participatory leadership development, and social connectionism as preparatory measures for success in college or university. A major nested variable to be discussed will entail the reporting of evidence as to whether of not same gender high school education is, by virtue of form, is a step back in gender segregation and equal opportunity education. Also, special consideration will be afforded the question of whether or not same sex educational programs have the potential to create problems for those entering college or university. Regardless of the results of the proposed study the need for research in the area of same sex education as a contributing factor in college success is one that requires thorough assessment and evaluation visa via historical literature reviews, descriptive research studies, and experimental controlled investigations. The process by which the youth of today are being educated to meet the challenges of the twenty first century must include an in-depth analysis of what works and what does not. The American society can no longer rely upon that which might have worked in the past nor can it fail to review that which might work in the future with respect to providing both a healthy education and educational environment to young people - our legacy for the future. As stated by…