chapter  9
Gender Equity in Coeducational and Single Sex Educational Environments
ByEmily Arms
Pages 20

In the 1985 Handbook, this chapter was titled “Sex Equity in Classroom Organization and Climate” (Lockheed & Klein, 1985) and sought to define the elements of a sex-equitable classroom so that “both overt and hidden curriculum treat boys and girls equitably [and] that they receive equal benefits from instruction” (p. 190). It focused on three areas where classroom inequity was most prevalent: sex segregation in the classroom, inequity in teacher-student interactions, and inequities in peer interactions. Specific studies cited students’ tendencies from a very young age to voluntarily segregate into single-sex groupings, teachers’ “sex-differentiated expectations” of and interactions with students, and male domination of mixed-sex groups (p. 199). In brief, coeducational classrooms were found to reflect and reproduce sex inequities found in larger society. Several strategies or interventions to combat classroom inequities were proposed including teacher training in the following areas: raising teacher awareness of equitable student-teacher interactions, encouraging cross-sex student groupings, and creating collaborative, mixed-sex groups. In addition to those strategies, single-sex schooling was briefly discussed but rejected as a possible solution to remedy the gender inequities present in coeducational classrooms.