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A Gendered Choice

A Gendered Choice
Designing and Implementing Single-Sex Programs and Schools

Edited by:

Foreword by Jim Rex

November 2009 | 200 pages | Corwin

"Chadwell's book is a very useful guide for principals and administrators seeking to launch single-gender programs."
—Leonard Sax, Executive Director
National Association for Single Sex Public Education

"Any administrator following the process outlined in this book will impress teachers, parents and the board with their well thought out approach."
—Kathy Tritz- Rhodes, Principal
Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn Schools
Marcus and Cleghorn, IA

"A thoughtful text and practical guide for educators who are considering establishing single-gendered classrooms."
—Pedro A. Noguera, Professor, New York University
Executive Director, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education

A comprehensive road map for single-gender initiatives!

Over 400 public schools in the United States offer single-gender classes or programs,and the number of schools contemplating such initiatives is growing at a rapid pace. In this book, David W. Chadwell, the first state coordinator for single-gender programs, offers a step-by-step process with practical planning tools for implementing high-quality single-sex programs and schools.

Organized into three sections—designing, initiating, and sustaining single-gender initiatives in local school sites and districts —this resource includes detailed, essential information on:

  • Restructuring to accommodate single-gender classes
  • Communicating with parents and overcoming resistance
  • Understanding relevant legal issues
  • Facilitating instructional changes
  • Creating a 1- to 3-year plan

Featuring numerous vignettes, current demographic data, and critical insights for professional development, A Gendered Choice provides everything educators need to know about creating single-gender schools or programs.

List of Tables
About the Author
Introduction: Defining Single-Gender Education
Part I. Considering Single-Gender Education
1. Gender Makes a Difference in the Classroom
Starting Point: Examining Gender Influences  
Student Performance  
Social Differences  
Hormonal Differences  
Brain Differences  
Gender Is an Issue  
Chapter One Planning Tool: Reflecting on Gender  
2. What We Know About Single-Gender Programs
Demographic Data  
Achievement and Other Data  
Chapter Two Planning Tool: Using Data  
3. Political Opposition to Single-Gender Education
The Legal Context of Single-Gender Education  
Positions Against Single-Sex Education  
Parting Words  
Chapter Three Planning Tool: Debating Single-Gender Education  
4. Frequently Asked Questions: Concerns and Options
Questions About Socialization  
Questions About Planning  
Questions About Instruction  
Chapter 4 Planning Tool: Clearing Roadblocks  
PART II. Designing A Single Gender Program
5. Rationale and Structure
Involve Key Stakeholders: Create an Exploratory Group  
Learn Together About Single-Gender Education  
Align the Program With the School’s Mission Statement  
Develop a Rationale: Look at School Data  
Decide on a Structure  
Chapter 5 Planning Tool: Developing Rationale and Structure  
6. Legal Issues and Logistics
Meeting the Federal Regulations for Single-Gender Programs  
Single-Sex Schools  
Creating a Master Schedule  
Chapter 6 Planning Tool: Examining Legal Boundaries and Schedule Restraints  
7. Communication
Communication With Principals and School Administrators  
Communication With Teachers  
Communication With Parents  
Communication With Students  
Communication With School Board Members  
Order of Concerns in Communicating With Each Group  
Avoiding Stereotypes  
Chapter 7 Planning Tool: Preparing for Communication  
8. Building Community
Integration of Single-Gender Programs Into School Culture  
Identity of the Single-Gender Program  
Location of Single-Gender Classes  
Program Creed  
Public Relations Plan  
Coordinator for the Single-Gender Program  
Team Building for Students  
Chapter 8 Planning Tool: Creating Community  
9. Program Price
Low-Cost Options  
Moderate-Cost Options  
High-Cost Options  
Chapter 9 Planning Tool: Budgeting and the Impact of Gender  
10. Professional Development
Professional Development Opportunities Prior to Implementation  
Possible Timelines to Prepare Teachers Prior to Implementation  
Continued Professional Development After Implementation  
Timeline to Support Teachers After Implementation  
Chapter 10 Planning Tool: Developing a Professional Development Plan  
11. Program Evaluation
Ensuring Nondiscrimination  
Reviewing the Rationale: Format  
Reviewing the Data: Indicators  
An Ongoing Review Process  
Chapter 11 Planning Tool: Preparing for Evaluation  
12. Sustaining a Single-Gender Program
Strong Principal Leadership  
Institutionalize the Single-Gender Program  
Keep the Program Manageable  
Agree on Strategies to Use With Boys and Girls  
Mentor New Teachers  
Continue Professional Development  
Instituting Change  
Chapter 12 Planning Tool: Sustaining Change  
Resource A: Sample Creeds From Single-Sex Schools  
Resource B: Sample Proposal Form for Creating a Single-Gender Program  
Resource C: Sample Team-Building Activities for Students  
Resource D: Organizations for the Learning of Boys and Girls  
Resource E: Sample Annual Single-Gender Program Review Form  
Resource F: Sample Letter to Parents to Survey Their Interest  
Resource G: Sample Letter to Parents Informing Them of Single-Gender Program and Surveying Their Interest  
Resource H: Sample Letter to Parents (School Selecting Students With Coed Option Explained)  
Resource I: Sample Letter to Parents (All Students in Single-Gender With Coed Option Explained)  

"Single-gender education has reemerged as a sound approach to dealing with the academic issues of both girls and boys. This book provides comprehensive procedures for developing single-gender programs of all types. Chadwell covers every step of the process and points out where the pitfalls lie and how to avoid them. The planning tools at the end of each chapter involve the reader in the process and can serve as activities for workshops as schools and school systems begin the process of designing single-gender programs. This is a comprehensive handbook based on personal experience with developing single-gender educational programs. Chadwell knows what he is talking about not only from personal experience, but also as the statewide coordinator of single-sex initiatives for South Carolina. This is the book to read if you are considering implementing single-gender programs in your school."

Abigail Norfleet James, Adjunct Professor of Education
University of Virginia, Northern Virginia Center

"David W. Chadwell, an ardent activist for single-gender education, brings his passion and expertise to bear within the pages of this important book. It is imperative reading for all who seek to be informed about the viability of single-gender education. It’s a must read!"

Ron Walker, Executive Director
Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color

"David Chadwell’s book is a very useful guide for principals and administrators launching single-gender programs."

Leonard Sax, Executive Director
National Association for Single Sex Public Education

"A thoughtful text and practical guide for educators who are considering establishing single-gendered classrooms."

Pedro A. Noguera, Professor, New York University
Executive Director, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education

“The author does an excellent job of providing the reader with each of the steps needed to successfully implement this type of program and the foresight to think about many of the questions and concerns that will come up along the way. Administrators following the process outlined in this book will impress teachers, parents, and the board with their well thought-out approach.”

Kathy Tritz- Rhodes, Principal
Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn Schools, IA

"This is a fascinating area and a subject that needs to be explored and researched. With books like this, a more open dialogue can begin, and educators can consider more options for improving the learning curves amongst boys and girls.”

Tara McGuigan, Science Teacher and GATE Teacher
University City High School, San Diego, CA
Key features
  • Clear, experience-based instructions on how to design and implement single-gender programs show administrators how to go about separating classes for boys and girls in their schools and districts
  • A section on dissenting voices helps administrators overcome resistance from community members
  • A section on the legal aspects of single-gender initiatives helps to ensure that programs are implemented within federal guidelines
  • A chapter on the transitional process at the classroom level helps administrators plan for the changes in instruction recommended for single-gender classes, and guides administrators and teaching staff to the most recent literature on effective teaching for boys and girls

Sample Materials & Chapters



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