New Single-Gender Education: A proven, social and global response to the PISA failure

Source:Iguales y Diferentes

The poor results of the PISA tests point to a deep crisis in the education system. Single-Gender education is an effective and socially proven solution internationally.

The headlines of the Financial Times of London, El Mercurio of Santiago de Chile, Il Corriere de la Sera of Milan or El País of Madrid warn about the debacle in the PISA 2022 tests. In the face of a crisis affecting most OECD countries, there is widespread confusion as the causes of the fall are diverse and intertwined. Among others, educators denounce the following problems: lack of attention to learning, lack of motivation among students, social differences between schools or the implementation of digital media with little effectiveness.

Faced with this complex situation, from Equal and Different we propose the New Single-Gender Educational model. Below are 7 arguments, elaborated by Miguel Dionis, which make up a proven, social and global response to the debacle of the PISA tests.

1. School Environment

One of the concerns parents and teachers have is peer pressure and bullying.

The school climate in the schools of the New Single-Gender Education is free of the conventions and pressures that often lead to school failure or low self-esteem. In girls’ schools, the feeling of peer pressure is reduced from 21% to 1%.

Alex Hutchinson, headteacher of James Allen’s Girls’ School, stated in an interview by Ana Davis for the Evening Standart: “I am more than aware of the benefits that differentiated education can bring. Girls’ schools have a specific energy based on friendship, support and laughter. Girls’ schools encourage a lack of stereotyping and a genuine sense of individuality, where students feel as comfortable raising their hand in chemistry as they do on the field hockey field.” It has already been proven that students follow the adage “if you can’t see it you can’t be it, if you can’t see it you can’t be it,” is critical to breaking glass ceilings.

Why They Love Going to Girls Schools (subtitulado) | ¿Un colegio solo de chicas? de ICGS (International Coalition of Girls’s Schools)

2.Deep relationship between students (Brotherhood and Sisterhood).

In the English-speaking world, Brotherhood and Sisterhood refer to the deep relationship forged between students, the result of day-to-day life in which everyone can show each other as they are. A classroom designed for the learning style of one of the genders fosters greater collaboration among students and teaches valuable teamwork skills. Students make friendships and form bonds that can last a lifetime, as members of the alumni association of these schools can attest.

It is very interesting to listen to the woman who won 3 Oscars and was nominated 21 times. As she herself says it is the moment in her life when she stopped acting to please and could show herself as she was.

3. Equal Opportunities

In the challenge of achieving equal opportunities at school age, it is clear from the data provided by the OECD’s PISA reports that the gap for girls continues to exist in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and for boys in languages (they are one year behind girls).

In single-gender schools, academic results in these subjects improve substantially. The same happens with everything related to the arts and sports; boys usually participate in a minority in choirs, theater and dance activities. As Guadalupe Caireta, spokesperson for Iguales y Diferentes, assures in her interview with Magisterio Magazine: single-gender education has proven to have “significant positive effects on mental health results” and achieves “an improvement in the attitude of students, especially in schools in disadvantaged areas”.

On the contrary, the great musicals that can be seen in the boys’ schools or their choirs are very striking. Also the healthy sporting competition in girls’ schools. Another interesting fact is that the choice of STEM careers triples in girls who have studied in one of these schools.

In connection with the above, on September 15, 2008, Richard V. Reeves published “Men. Reeves published “Men. Why modern men are having a hard time, why it is a problem to be taken into account and what to do about it”; in this book he states that the educational system harms boys and the labor market harms women. This is one of the conclusions reached by the researcher and father of three children.

4. Female leadership

A study by Linda Sax, from the University of UCLA, analyzes how female leadership is much higher in the United States among women who come from separate schools than from coed schools. One might think that this is due to the elitism of the schools where they studied, but of these schools, only 7% are differentiated, while 93% are coeducational.

Patricia Andrés, a former student of the Ayalde school, has obtained the first place in the examination for Internal Medical Resident (MIR) called by the Ministry of Health. The exam, which took place last January, was attended by 11,577 students to fill 8,550 positions.

It is interesting to know some examples of leadership such as Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; Sally Ride, first woman to travel to space; Madeleine Albright, first woman Secretary of State; Drew Gilpin Faust, only woman president of Harvard University; Condoleezza Rice, first woman in charge of national security or Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State and first woman candidate for the Presidency of the country…

New Single-Gender Education

5. Overcoming the social gap

It was Hillary Clinton who authorized the first public schools of the New Single-Gender Education in the neighborhoods with the highest rates of school failure such as Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, State Islands… in the case of boys’ schools, it was David Banks who founded Eagle Academy with the following results: 89% of students graduated compared to 30% in coed schools and more than 24,000 students who have succeeded in breaking the race and neighborhood gap. The same is true of The Young Women’s Leadership School and its female students.

A recent case in point is the city of Buffalo. Public schools superintendent Kriner Cash announced at a school board meeting last January that Buffalo Public Schools plans to launch an all-boys school and an all-girls school. Cash had mentioned the idea in July 2022 when outlining a plan for how the district would use the $289 million it is receiving from the federal government to boost, among others, public school

New Single-Gender Education
Baylee Gramling in Unsplash

6. Breaking with stereotypes

In male schools that opt for the New Single-Gender Education model, they work on home skills (development of skills to learn how to manage domestic affairs).

In the same way that leadership is worked on in girls’ schools, boys’ schools are also helped to better understand that domestic matters are not associated with the female sex, because there are no “boys’ things” and “girls’ things”. Thus, boys naturally have cooking classes, clean the tables, sweep the floors, etc.

As stated in the article published by our spokesperson in El Periódico: “Today we confuse segregation with differentiation. In the past, education was segregated: boys were educated for public life and girls for the home. Today, both sexes have the same opportunities for access to education, equally qualified teachers, facilities of similar quality and identical curricula. Therefore, and according to UNESCO, differentiated education is not discriminatory.”

Why A School For Boys | ¿Por qué un colegio para chicos? (subtitulado en español) de IBSC (International Boys’ Schools Coalition)

7. Provide positive adult role models

The big problem in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods is Fatherlessnes: most of the parents were either in prison or with a serious addiction or had left the family home. Today this situation, for other reasons, also occurs in France, Iceland, Sweden -more than 50 %- and the United States -nearly 50 %-.

This lack of male role models for boys is, in the words of David Banks, one of the causes of the resounding male failure that, with his New Differentiated Education schools, he has managed to turn around with great success. How has he done it? By looking for male mentors to serve as role models for the transition from child and adolescent to adult. The Young Women’s Leadership School and its female mentors have done the same for their female students.

New Single-Gender Education
Alliance Football Club in Unsplash

If what we are looking for is equal opportunities, improving the school climate, personalizing education as much as possible and improving school performance, it seems to me that the New Single-Gender Education model enhances and facilitates this.


New Single-Gender Education: Equal and Different

Equal and different, is an association promoted by parents, alumni and teachers whose purpose is to promote educational pluralism, through the dissemination and support of the model of gender-differentiated education under equal conditions, at national and international levels. It seeks to respond to the uniqueness of each person, overcome gender stereotypes, reduce school failure and advance educational equity.

E&D focuses its action around three axes: promoting the social mobilization of parents and alumni; dialogue with journalists to improve knowledge of this educational model; and relations with politicians and social actors.


Complete article: Miguel Dionis 7 argumentos a favor de la Nueva Educación Diferenciada, Viaró Research, September 9th 2022

Other interesting articles:

Interview with Guadalupe Caireta: «Hay estudios que demuestran que la educación diferenciada mejora el rendimiento escolar», Magisterio, November 21st 2023

Article in response to the Education Minsitry of Generalitat de Catalunya: Las escuelas en gris y plata, El Periódico, May 7th 2023