The most interesting sentence I’ve read today (so far)

by on August 20, 2007 at 1:54 pm in Education | Permalink

Our results suggest that an increase in the proportion of girls [in school] leads to a significant improvement in students’ cognitive outcomes.

Here is the paper, here are non-gated versions.  The estimated benefits are of similar magnitude for boys and girls.  It seems that girls make the classroom a more civil place.  The implication, I suppose, is that all-girl schools impose a negative externality on boys and I don’t just mean from the side of beauty or fun.

1 Martin Kennedy August 20, 2007 at 2:20 pm

The implication, I suppose, is that all-girl schools impose a negative
externality on boys…

So, more boys = environment less conducive to learning BUT what if all
girls are removed? Could it be that boys’ “bad” behavior is driven by the
presence of girls? If there are no girls there is no competition for
their attention. That is my guess (grew up with ten brothers, attended an
all boys high school, and now have four boys of my own).

2 spencer August 20, 2007 at 2:51 pm

I like the last sentence in the summary:
We find, however, no effect on individual behavior of boys or girls, which suggests that the positive peer effects of girls on classroom environment are due mostly to compositional change, namely due to having more girls in the classroom and not due to improved behavior of peers

3 Mr. Econotarian August 20, 2007 at 3:57 pm

Lack of discipline is the defining problem of modern American public schools.

With disciplined students, you can achieve better results with larger classes and less experienced (i.e. inexpensive) teachers and administrators.

The problem is that the modern expansion of the concept of Constitutional rights, while good to check the power of government, unfortunately also checks the power of teachers to discipline.

This is probably the main reason why non-government schools can yield better results, and why their teachers are typically paid less.

4 Trey August 20, 2007 at 4:16 pm

This is an interesting generalization of the old wisdom that girls do better in single-sex classrooms and boys do better in co-ed classrooms. It’s not a difference in learning styles (directly). It’s just a matter of which situation has more girls. This is really cool.

5 Jared August 20, 2007 at 5:17 pm

Been to the all-boys’ school and the all-female school. There’s just no comparison. I would have bribed the nuns with up to half of my future earnings to have attended the women’s school, and not because I’d be the only boy. It was just more civilized, for lack of a better word.

6 GVV August 20, 2007 at 7:14 pm

Increasing feminisation of economics:

Now boys do not select economics for their UG and graduation and they go for engineering and management subject.90 to 95% selecting economics are girls.In some years there are only girls selecting economics (in our fresh graduate batch, there is not even a single boy).The subject specific sex-ratio favours girls in our subject.

7 Roy Haddad August 20, 2007 at 11:45 pm

So this would be a good consequence of women beginning to outnumber men in college attendance.

8 tony August 22, 2007 at 1:04 am

The previous male-dominated society hardly recognized the females’ willingness to get education and make a career in social environment. Males could hardly have preferred seeing their female partners as successive career-goers at work places rather than stay-at-home moms and housewives. Now gone are those days when education institutions were closed to women, but the difference in education attitude and performance between males and females is significant.

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