Abstract: This essay will provide a brief historical overview of the educational experiences of girls and women in the United States dating from the early colonial settlement years to the present time. From “dame schools” in the 1700s to seminaries for teacher training, women and girls have historically been prepared for professions related to caretaking, such as nursing and teaching. A dramatic shift occurred in the 1970s with the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which protects students from discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs that receive federal financial assistance, and the Women's Educational Equity Act(WEEA), enacted in 1974. In spite of the new policies, many of the educational patterns of girls continued. Several researchers in the 1980s and 1990s suggested that female students in coeducational classrooms received less opportunity to participate and less feedback from teachers than their male counterparts (Grossman, 1998; Riordan,1990;Sadker & Sadker, 1995). With the passage of No Child Left Behind in 2002 and the resulting changes in federal regulations (final rule changes published in 2006), prior restrictions on the establishment of single sex public schools and classrooms were lifted. Initial research on U.S. single sex programs indicate promise of academic achievement for girls and demonstrate socio-emotional benefits for girls attending single sex schools in urban, high poverty areas (United States Department of Education, 2008; author, 2008). Current advocates of single-sex education believe that it should be available as an option for all students, not just for children of privilege.
Abstract: This article provides an overview of current research that highlights the benefits of single-sex special education for female students, with an emphasis on Latina students. A review of the literature highlighting the special education referral process in relationship to gender and social agression is presented. Research-based solutions are presented for the challenges related to school success, retention, and completion rates for Larina students in special education are offered, in additon to recommendations for administrators and teachers of Latina students identified for special eduation services.
Abstract: A careful examination of the persistent trend of over-identification of African American and Hispanic male students in classes for EBD and the lack of, or poor preparation of the teachers who teach them, sounds the alarm for the continuing need to develop high quality, culturally relevant teacher preparation programs. Teacher education programs for general and special educators do not provide adequate training for teachers to promote self-determined communication behaviors and self-regulated decision-making processes that foster successful student-student and student-teacher interactions (Anderson & Webb-Johnson, 1995; Eisner, 2002). Teachers and students would fundamentally benefit from deliberate instructional approaches that provide opportunities to acquire the knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary for controlling and benefiting from proactive communication choices.
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to determine whether there were measurable differences in classroom behaviors and school perceptions in adolescent female students identified as learning disabled (LD) in a single-gender special education classroom (SGSEC) and a mixed-gender special education classroom (MGSEC). A mixed design was used; the study was conducted over a four-month period on a secondary level campus in an urban center in northern California. Data were collected using classroom observations, focus group and individual interviews, and document analysis. Participants included four Latina and four African American female students with learning disabilities. Findings indicated that in comparison to Latina and African American female students attending the MGSEC, female students in the SGSEC reported a greater degree of comfort and support from teachers and peers. There were higher rates of classroom participation for Latina students in the SGSEC compared to their counterparts in the MGSEC. Notable differences in classroom participation were not observed between the two groups of African American female students.