Mixed education: equality has not arrived

Source:Le Monde

Claire Legros publishes an article in Le Monde where she explains that “the idea of mixing girls and boys in the Republic school has become widespread for reasons that are more pragmatic and economic than educational.” The sexual equality that was supposed to be obtained has not arrived.

Goal? Equality

The journalist addresses the origins of this teaching method, considered in France as a pillar of the republican school to guarantee equality. In reality, it was imposed for economic and pragmatic reasons, without taking into account underlying educational reasons.

Quoting the philosopher Nicole Mosconi, Legros explains that numerous works explore the effects of this mixture of sexes “without design”, and that, due to the lack of strategy, the desired equality has not been achieved. On the one hand, girls do better in school than boys; on the other hand, the latter are more noticeable and dominate the spaces.

He also mentions a study by the geographer Edith Maruéjouls, which analyzes the unequal distribution in the playground: the boys use the center to play football and the girls stay on the outskirts.

“Two different relationships are built with knowledge: boys to create new knowledge, girls to transmit it, which influence orientation and place in society,” argues Isabelle Collet, a researcher in educational sciences at the University of Geneva.

Since mere mixing alone is not enough to achieve any pedagogical goal, the historian Geneviève Pezeu, author of a book on coeducational schools, stresses the need to train teachers on issues of equality. She also points out that “periods of separation between boys and girls can be useful, provided that they serve to better build diversity”.

Source: article Mixed education: a mixture without design, in Aceprensa, September 29, 2021 and La mixité filles-garçons à l’école, une révolution inachevée, in Le Monde, September 15, 2021

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