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“When most young girls are exposed to such stimuli, however, they feel dizzy and yucky.” In a landmark essay published in the Spring 2006 edition of Educational Horizons, just as the SSPE movement was gaining strong momentum, Dr.Sax detailed the different ways elementary school teachers should address their students in gender-segregated classes. ’ Far from being intimidated, boys are energized by this teaching style.
He maintains that two days of training, 14 hours total, is all that’s needed to prepare the staff of a public school to switch from coeducation to SSPE. Sax by his own count has led such two-day conversion seminars for more than 300 schools in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
One of them was Carman Trails, an elementary school in the Parkway School District, which is in the St. Despite a lack of test data to prove the program is working, SSPE at Carman Trails has won over teachers, parents and students. When it began two years ago, it was limited to first grade.
“[The teacher] may move right in front of a boy and say, ‘What’s your answer, Mr. With girls [teachers should] speak more softly, use first names, terms of endearment and fewer direct commands: ‘Lisa, sweetie, it’s time to open your book.
Emily, darling, would you please sit down for me and join us in this exercise? Sax’s essay was “Six Degrees of Separation,” a reference to the SSPE guideline that while the perfect ambient temperature for a male classroom is 69 degrees Fahrenheit, females learn most effectively at 75 degrees.
“When most young boys are exposed to threat and confrontation, their senses sharpen, and they feel a thrill,” explains Dr.
Leonard Sax, the founder and executive director of the National Associate for Single Sex Public Education.
SSPE is such a relatively new phenomenon that no major credible studies have been conducted of its long-term efficacy.
Likewise, research into gender-segregated education in general, let alone the controversial teaching methods promoted by the SSPE movement, has been inconclusive.
“For the single-sex format to lead to improvements in academic performance, teachers must understand the hard-wired differences in how girls and boys learn and incorporate the best practices for all-female classrooms and all-male classrooms.” Dr.
Sax has made a cottage industry of training public school teachers in those classroom practices.