Angles on the March 2014 Public Forum Topic

March 2014 Resolution: 

Single-gender classrooms would improve the quality of education in American public schools.

As you begin in on your research for the March topic, you’ll begin to see there are lots of ways to define quality, to define education, and places where you can direct the verb phrase “would improve.” Here are some of my thoughts on directions for research and arguments to help you get going. I’ve included articles that can begin your search for answers and more questions.

How do we define quality? Is it overall quality or quality in one area?

Are we talking about specific subjects like physical education?

Are we targeting specific public schools?

How does this policy affect minority and low income students?

Could we affirm the resolution if it is implemented in some schools but not all schools? Would advocating middle school only be a fair reading for the Pro?

Are we targeting one gender specifically?

How are gender stereotypes affected? gender equity?

Are there implications for the idea of separate but equal between the genders?

Is there truly a difference in brain function that should affect educational policy and teaching pedagogy?

Are there other more important factors in education that we should care about?

Would the cost of implementation of single-gender classrooms affect the quality of education positively or negatively? Where would the money come from and who would it affect?

How do teachers and educators measure quality? Should we measure it the same way in the debate?

How will this affect the enrollment of girls in courses they often avoid in coeducational settings?

How will this improve self-esteem in students?

Is there an affect on classrooms “distractions” and teacher ability to control classrooms?

Why not listen to NPR discuss the topic? It’s usually wonderful.

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