Differential effects of single -sex versus coed education on the mathematical reasoning ability, verbal reasoning ability, and self-concept of high school girls

Kevin E Conway, Florida International University

Abstract

This study explored the differential effects of single-sex versus coed education on the cognitive and affective development of young women in senior year of high school. The basic research question was: What are the differential effects of single-sex versus coed education on the development of mathematical reasoning ability, verbal reasoning ability, or self-concept of high school girls?^ This study was composed of two parts. In the first part, the SAT verbal and mathematical ability scores were recorded for those subjects in the two schools from which the sample populations were drawn. The second part of the study required the application of the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale to subjects in each of the two sample populations. The sample schools were deliberately selected to minimize between group differences in the populations. One was an all girls school, the other coeducational.^ The research design employed in this study was the causal-comparative method, used to explore causal relationships between variables that already exist. Based on a comprehensive analysis of the data produced by this research, no significant difference was found to exist between the mean scores of the senior girls in the single-sex school and the coed school on the SAT 1 verbal reasoning section. Nor was any significant difference found to exist between the mean scores of the senior girls in the single-sex school and the coed school on the SAT 1 mathematical reasoning section. Finally, no significant difference between the mean total scores of the senior girls in the single-sex school and the coed school on the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale was found to exist.^ Contrary to what many other studies have found in the past about single-sex schools and their advantages for girls, this study found no support for such advantages in the cognitive areas of verbal and mathematical reasoning as measured by the SAT or in the affective area of self-concept as measured by the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale. ^

Subject Area

Education, Educational Psychology|Education, Secondary|Psychology, Developmental

Recommended Citation

Conway, Kevin E, "Differential effects of single -sex versus coed education on the mathematical reasoning ability, verbal reasoning ability, and self-concept of high school girls" (1996). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9717537.
http://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI9717537

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