Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

10 Ellul 5761 - August 29, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Observations: Secular Researchers Conclude That Students Achieve Better Results in Separate Classrooms
by S. Yisraeli

While the IDF debates Hesder soldiers' protests against assigning female soldiers to their units, in another arena, extreme liberalism, with its concern for "equal rights for women" -- and arbitrary disregard for common sense and Jewish values -- has been shown to hinder elementary and high school students through one of the symbols of secular education: forcing boys and girls to study together.

Ha'aretz' education reporter writes, "The academic literature in the field of education is filled with data on the importance of separating boys and girls during the learning process. Education researchers are well aware that girls' performance improves when they are given an opportunity to study in separate classrooms." She also notes that in Western nations, separate studies for girls is de rigueur in prestigious private schools, but in Israel, "the public balks at the idea of separate classrooms, which are associated with religious education, where girls are separated from boys for halachic reasons."

Now it seems the kibbutzim could actually be the first to admit their mistake and experiment with separate studies.

This year regional high school Mevo'ot Eiron, which is affiliated with kibbutzim Ein Shemer, Ma'anit, Metzer and Barkai, conducted what she refers to as an "instructive" experiment. Ninth grade girls studied physics in a separate classroom and twelfth grade boys were also removed from their regular mixed classrooms to study literature for matriculation exams. Both the boys and the girls benefited from the experiment, achieving higher grades and demonstrating greater mastery of the material.

The reporter wrote that although a controlled experiment of math and science instruction in separate classrooms has not yet been conducted in secular Israeli schools, higher achievements among girls who learn in separate classrooms can be seen by comparing the performance of girls in secular government schools to that of girls enrolled in religious schools. The rate of outstanding performance in religious schools on high-level matriculation exams in math and physics is 10% higher than the rate among girls in secular schools.

Despite the extensive data available, the heads of the secular school system insist on mixed schools, since the public resists the idea of separate classrooms.


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