Press Release Archive 2011 - 1999

Same-sex classroom research gets national attention

2009. 11. 04.

CALDWELLFaculty and students at The College of Idaho are providing important research about same-sex classrooms in elementary schools to a national audience, and may have an opportunity to develop an information hub for educators throughout the Northwest.

Debra Yates, assistant professor of education at The College of Idaho, and Stephanie Burke, a master's of education student, recently presented their research findings "Evaluating Single-sex Classrooms: Community Collaboration & Campus Connections," at the 5th Annual National Association of Single-Sex Public Educators (NASSPE) Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

NASSPE organizer and noted author Leonard Sax cited Idaho educators for leading the way with their single-sex classroom offerings, said Yates, who has been invited to submit an article to "Advances in Gender and Education," a newly created, peer reviewed journal.

"He was impressed with our work with the Middleton Heights Elementary School and their team of educators," Yates said. "He is hoping we can establish a 'northwestern hub' of educators who can be available to answer questions for other schools interested in offering single-sex options."

The C of I's collaborative research study was conducted last school year with undergraduates Brooke Pehrson and Molli Lee-Painter, and consisted of teacher and parent survey data from a local elementary school in Middleton, which began single-sex classrooms three years ago.

Burke lead the team of undergraduates in this study, which looked at how teaching techniques for same-sex classes differ for boys and girls and whether single-sex classes are effective.

Burke, who is a student teacher in an all-boy classroom, said the project helped open her eyes to different instructional strategies for boys and girls, even for the same curriculum.

"I always knew that boys and girls learn differently, but this helps me know what strategies to use with them," she said.