Just spoke with David Chadwell, state director for single-sex programs, and he shed a little light for me on how this works. Principal Ben Bragg’s quick and dirty on the benefits of all-boy and all-girl classrooms left out some of the details that evidently make these kinds of things work. For one, teachers of either gender are encouraged to use a variety of resources and methods to instruct children, they’re just provided —through recent studies and reports — some suggestions on what seem to work best for one gender or the other (hence Bragg’s comment that “boys like non-fiction, girls like fiction”).

As to my concerns about marginalization, Chadwell notes that every single-sex program in the state is voluntary. As for the boy who might feel bullied, he says the single-sex classroom seems to reduce the bullying because the big boys don’t have any girls that they have to impress — particularly when there is an effort made for team building amongst the students.

I still have my doubts, but it’s largely due to ignorance in how these classrooms work — being a life-long coed learner.