Co-education was first introduced in the 1830’s when it was decided that boys and girls would benefit from learning alongside one another in an educational setting. Since then co-ed has grown in popularity and now makes up 80% of secondary schools in the UK. There are many benefits of co-education, many of which can be found below.
Preparing for the ‘real’ world
Co-education is the perfect tool to help prepare young minds for the real world. Whether at home, school or at work, men and women are in constant contact and have to cooperate in daily life. By experiencing this from such an early age a child will find it easier to build relationships and work alongside the opposite sex.
Better communication skills
It is important to develop communication skills from a young age and co-education plays a huge role in this, allowing a child to talk to people of any gender with ease. This varied experience means that both female and male perspectives are constantly explored and the varied modes of communication amongst the genders are better understood. If students are not given this opportunity they may find it harder to develop the skills needed to interact with each other in the long run.
Competition is an important part of life as an adult and as a child. Healthy competition within education is vital to prepare students for life out of school, whether it be how to deal with failure or to drive pupils to strive for success and feel passionate about what they are doing. The collaborative environment of co-education, be it working as a team or against each other, can help children overcome the fear or shyness and of interacting with the opposite gender. A co-ed system provides a balanced and comfortable environment where they feel they can easily have a conversation with the opposite sex. The comfort zone created by co-ed will help shape their behaviour for the future, where working with seniors and colleagues, male or female, is of paramount importance.
We live in a time were gender equality is more important than ever, and by providing an environment were both genders are taught and treated the same promotes this equality from the very start of their education. Children who are raised in such an environment from a young age will grow to respect and appreciate the opinions and attributes of both genders, understanding that even though they may not be the same, they are still equal. Men and women should have the same and equal opportunities and this starts from an early age within education. Although there is no significant differences in grades or academic achievements from students in a same-sex or co-ed setting there are many other skills and opportunities to be taken away from this form of education.
Breaking down barriers
Common stereotypes still put men and women into specific roles but co-education can break down those barriers and give both genders the same opportunities to learn a broad range of subjects that might not be available to them in a single sex setting. For instance, some boys schools may not offer food technology or textiles as they are seen to be ‘traditionally female’ subjects and girls schools may not offer wood work or technology as they are seen as ‘traditionally male’ subjects. In a co-educational setting the entire curriculum is offered to all the pupils and these kinds of misconceptions can easily be overcome. Students will see from a young age that no gender is better at a subject than the other.
Practise is the best way to learn and master social skills, problem solve and work together, co-education allows the student to do this in a natural way from the beginning of their education so that it is just the norm.
The Oak-Tree Group of Schools
From September 2021, Braeside School in Buckhurst Hill will be making the transition to a co-educational school, starting in Kindergarten and Reception, before moving up through the school. Find out more HERE.