Daniel Wilhite '08 wrote a response to an article in the New York Times (11/30/14) about the increasing number of single-sex classrooms in public schools. His response includes his own experiences at The Philadelphia School.
All throughout elementary and middle school I never particularly enjoyed sports or competition. I usually found that I connected with girls more so than I did with boys, and I would participate in activities that would be considered "girly" according to the sexist logic referred to in this article. I wonder how I would've turned out if I had been relegated to the "boys" classroom. The reinforcement of the idea that my interests and learning style did not align with what was considered "normal" for boys, I'm certain would've been restrictive, traumatic, and confusing for me as a child.
I just worry for other boys and girls out there who don't fit nicely into these gendered categories. It is especially concerning that this is happening in co-ed public schools where students have not necessarily elected to be placed in single-sex classrooms. While it is probably true that certain students do better in all-male or all-female classes, I feel that students should at least have the choice to decide whether they feel being in a learning environment like this is in their own best interest.
Daniel, who is studying abroad in Brazil, is a junior at Brown University.