Parents of a young teen girl may not realize that their daughter faces a lot of barriers in a co-ed public or co-ed private school that she will not encounter in an all-girls school, like River View Christian Academy near Austin, TX.
In fact, many parents take it for granted that guys excel in sports, leadership, and even math and science—it’s just not a girl’s thing. But research over the years shows that boys and girls experience a difference in teaching methods, attention received, and expectations when enrolled in a co-ed public or private school. Because of these differences, girls especially benefit from enrollment in an all-girls school environment.
Barriers Girls Experience at Co-ed Schools:
When young girls attend a co-ed school, public or private, the classroom environment and interaction with young boys can change how girls feel about their learning ability and confidence. “Girls exposed to high achieving boys in the classroom are apt to set their educational goals lower and to lack confidence in their own abilities than girls not so exposed;” 1
And when it comes to studies in math and science, girls often lose interest rather than compete academically with boys. “Greater exposure to high-achieving boys in high school negatively impacts girls’ science and math grades, according to recent findings from the National Bureau of Economic Research.” 1
Here’s one reason that may surprise you about co-ed classroom settings, and the effect on girls. “Teachers are shown to be more attentive to boys than girls in the classroom, and to call on boys more often than girls;” 1
Another key issue for girls at a co-ed school who struggle to be their best in studies, sports or social life is peer pressure. “Peer pressure and the perceived need to conform to popular opinion and thinking, including the desire to be accepted, can all impact girls. These are just some of the reasons which make many girls suppress their own personalities and individuality in a co-ed academic setting.” 2
Of course, this may be the first time that you’ve heard about these co-ed classroom and sports differences, and now feel concerned about your young girl and her struggles. One thing a parent can do to help her become her best at a co-ed school requires showing strong support for her, at home, and at school. Talk with her about the possibilities and opportunities in her future, and the importance of perseverance to become her best. And let her know that you understand how peer pressure, and other negative distractions can undermine using her gifts and skills to achieve her personal dreams and identity.
Benefits Girls Receive at an All-Girls School:
You may also want to consider the benefits of enrolling her in an all-girls school. “Girls in classrooms with high achieving females are more likely to pursue ambitious educational goals even when of average ability themselves;” 1
“When children learn with single-gender peers, they are more likely to attend to their studies, speak more openly in the classroom, and feel more encouraged to pursue their interests and achieve their fullest potential;” 2
“When a school is limited to only educating girls, the pedagogy changes, and the science behind how a female brain works and how girls grow and mature all become part of the core educational paths…students report feeling more free to speak and express themselves, which leads to a stronger development of a love of learning.” 2
“Girls in same-sex schools are more apt to excel athletically and to have opportunities for school leadership roles;” 2 “A single-sex environment often feels empowering to students, especially girls, and encourages them to try new things. When boys aren’t around, girls are more likely to take a risk and try something new. 2 Middle school girls are more likely to engage in competitive athletics than their peers at coed schools. 2
Research reveals that young girls can truly benefit from the attention they receive in the classroom, as well as on the sports field. And because they are led by teachers who are trained to teach girls, and understand how girls learn, they have a much better chance to grow academically, and vocationally in an all-girls setting. Apart from the distraction of relationships with boys, and peer pressure to keep quiet and conform to social settings at a co-ed school, young girls can open up, express their thoughts and nurture their leadership skills. This is why many parents of struggling young girls look for a school where their daughter can focus on improving in every aspect of her life and relationships.
What to Expect at River View Christian Academy:
We help each student identify and begin to take advantage of her unique strengths, talents, and abilities. As a non-therapeutic boarding school, River View Christian Academy also helps struggling teen girls embrace a healthy outlook on life and teaches them how to make good personal choices. At the same time we connect parents and teen girls with professional outpatient therapy services for students who struggle with emotional or behavioral issues.
Created as a safe, structured environment for struggling young teen girls, our 45-acre campus (east of Austin, TX) offers their best opportunity to focus on education, avoid negative distractions and improve their thoughts and behavior for good.
River View provides 24-hour care and supervision, with strong structure, mentoring, and boundaries. Young teen girls are responsible for garden and animal chores, in addition to school and homework. Of course, there are fun school activities, as well as the amazing national parks in the area.
Give us a call to learn more about our program. We look forward to speaking with you!
Sources: 1) https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/womens-issues/201909/what-is-the-one-overlooked-advantage-all-girls-schools 2) https://www.thoughtco.com/benefits-of-attending-girls-school-2774631 3) https://lifequestgirlsacademy.com/