Date of Award

2006

Degree Name

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

Type of Degree

Ed.D.

Document Type

Dissertation

First Advisor

Ronald B. Childress

Second Advisor

Sandra Bailey

Third Advisor

Mary Harris-John

Fourth Advisor

Bobbi Nicholson

Fifth Advisor

Melanie Vickers

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of single-sex versus mixedsex classes on middle school student achievement. It was a case study of Stonewall Jackson Middle School in Charleston, West Virginia, an inner-city school with approximately 600 students, of which 30% were minority (mostly black), 30% were special needs, and 70% were classified low socio-economic status (SES). Student WESTEST (West Virginia Educational Standards Test) scores in reading/language arts and math were collected and compared from the school years 2003-2004 and 2004-2005. Each student’s scores from the first year were compared to that same student’s scores from the second year. Each student in the first year (2003-2004) was in mixed-sex classes and each student in the second year (2004-2005) was in single-sex classes. Two hundred seventy nine matched pairs of scores were compared. An alpha level of .05 was set as the criterion for the level of significance. A paired-samples T-test was used to determine whether the difference between the means was statistically significant. Student groups studied were male/female; black/white; low/high SES; and general education/special education. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine whether there were differences between groups. A .01 level of significance was found for both reading/language arts and math between mixed-sex and single-sex classes. No significance was found for the between group improvement scores. Results of this study provide support for using single-sex classes to improve the academic achievement of middle school students.

Subject(s)

Single-sex classes (Education)

Academic achievement.

Education, Elementary.