Single-sex classroom implementation in a predominantly low-income, public, urban elementary school: Perceptions, engagement, and achievement
Morrell, Phyllis Fatima
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The following study examined teacher, student, and the principal's perceptions about single-sex classroom implementation in a public, urban elementary school serving a predominantly low-income student population. A specific focus on the affective learning outcomes for female and African American male adolescents as distinct learning groups who experience marginalization and gaps in achievement in public schools was established. The study investigated to what extent the participants felt the single-sex classroom structure assisted in furthering girl's gender equity and the learning outcomes for African American males and poor and minority students in general. Research participants included the school's principal, teachers in the program, and seventh and eighth grade students enrolled in single-sex classrooms. Utilizing an ethnographic approach to data collection and analysis, participant perceptions, student engagement in learning, and achievement outcomes were analyzed. The positive and negative outcomes of single-sex classroom program implementation were also examined. Findings indicate that the participants felt that single-sex classrooms in public schools serving poor and minority students offer salient affective and cognitive learning outcomes for these learners. Participants believed that the single-sex classroom structure had a significant positive effect on females' and African American males' academic achievement, engagement in the learning process, and the development of a caring and nurturing climate in the target school.