Learning & Growing

The Benefits of Gender Inclusivity

    • A gender inclusive environment promotes healthy student relationships, fosters effective learning and reflects 21st century realities.

We believe in the many social and academic benefits of gender-inclusive education. 
For decades, research, theory and anecdotal narratives have claimed that schools and society do not meet the needs of students of all genders. Opinion has also swung on the merits of single-sex and co-ed education.

Our take on the research data is that it shows that neither single-sex nor co-ed schools do a better job of educating any particular group of students. In fact, a leading U.K. study (Robinson and Smithers, 2010) concludes that “it is not possible to claim" that all students of any gender would do better in one environment than another. The same basic conclusion was reached in a U.S. meta-analysis on the topic published in 2014 (Pahlke, Hyde and Allison).
Students reported nearly the same level of academic confidence regardless of the school environment (co-ed vs. single sex)

What do the numbers say?

The Strategic Counsel, a Canadian market research firm, surveyed 17,798 students and recent grads from Canadian high schools. Those surveyed were primarily university- or college-bound and came from all types of schools, whether independent or public, co-ed or single-sex. Their findings included the following: 

  • Students reported nearly the same level of academic confidence regardless of the school environment (co-ed vs. single sex)
  • 84% of students attending independent co-ed schools felt confident expressing their views in the presence of students of another gender (that number dropped significantly for students in single-sex schools)
  • Students at co-ed schools make friends easily with students of any gender
  • Whether students attended a co-ed or single-sex school did not affect participation in class discussions, perception of math and science abilities, or engagement in learning 
  • Students at independent co-ed schools agree (88%) that their school is a safe environment for all students

Greenwood College School

443 Mount Pleasant Road
Toronto, ON M4S 2L8
Tel: 416 482 9811
We acknowledge with gratitude the Ancestral lands upon which our main campus is situated. These lands are the Ancestral territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Anishinabek and the Wendake. The shared responsibility of this land is honoured in the Dish with One Spoon Treaty and as settlers, we strive to care for the land, the waters, and all creatures in the spirit of peace. We are responsible for respecting and supporting the enduring presence of all First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. When away from this campus we vow to be respectful to the land by protecting and honouring it. We will create relationships with the people and the land we may visit by understanding the territories we enter and the nations who inhabit them.
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