Article “Single-sex Classrooms”

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What is the main point of thearticle? What is it that the author is attempting to persuade thereader is true?

Protheroe (2009) evaluates the success of single-sex classrooms. Thearticle explains how single-sex classrooms have the capability ofproviding the setting needed by some students in order for them toconcentrate on learning. The author presents an array of studies thathave focused on the effectiveness of having schools that allow eithergirls or boys. Most of the research seems to depict that single-sexclassrooms have a higher likelihood of being unsuccessful. This isespecially the case when the necessary procedures are not taken toprovide a good setting that supports single-sex opportunities. Thearticle concludes that though it may be difficult to implementsingle-sex education, it could as well be a solution to the learningneeds of specific students.

Which type of reasoning,inductive or deductive, did the author use? Make sure you provideevidence from the article to support your answer.

The author uses deductive reasoning. She uses different premises inorder to arrive at a logical conclusion. Protheroe uses findings fromresearch that has already been conducted on single-sex education todemonstrate the differing views, which forms the premise for herargument. For instance, she presents findings from the “AmericanAssociation of University Women”, which notes that there is noproof that either single-sex education or coeducation is moreeffective than the other. Such findings make it possible for theauthor to provide a conclusion that incorporates differentviewpoints.

Identify at least one assumptionyou think supports the author’s argument. Do you think theassumption you selected is valid and reliable?

The author states “a single-sex program should have a clearlyarticulated rationale and specific program goals beforeimplementation efforts begin” (Protheroe, 2009). The assumption isvalid and reliable because the author explains on how to ensure theeffectiveness of single-sex programs.

What evidence did the author useto support their argument and do you think the source of any evidenceused is creditable?

The author uses evidence in supporting her argument. Sheincorporates the findings of research that has previously beenconducted on single-sex education. The research comprises ofsystematic reviews as well as meta-analysis. It is important to notethat the author reviews literature that demonstrates both thepossibility of single-sex education and that which does not support.The source of evidence applied in supporting the author’s argumentis creditable. This is because the findings presented in the sourcesof evidence comprise of studies that have been conducted and are notbased on generalizations.

Did the author consider anopposing view to her/his argument and did she/he present any evidenceto support the opposing view?

The author provides a conclusion that incorporates both her argumentand an opposing view. Protheroe makes the conclusion that single-sexeducation may be beneficial to some students. However, all throughthe article she makes it clear that single-sex programs are not easyto implement. Most of the article’s argument focuses onhighlighting how research on the relevance of single-sex schoolinghas been inconclusive. However, there is enough research o depictthat this form of education has not depicted any advantages overcoeducation, which is the basis for the opposing views.

Identify at least one ambiguousword or phrase you believe the author used and then answer thefollowing questions

The author uses the phrase “silver bullet” in making herconclusion. She does not define the use of the term. In defining theterm, I think the author aims at acknowledging that implementation ofsingle-sex education is not as easy as anticipated. This is becausethere are many hurdles associated with focusing on an all girls orboys school. Also, the objective of any learning program is toprovide the best education to students. The phrase “silver bullet”highlights that though the education style has been accepted, it willnot work as effortlessly as may be presumed. The author aims atevoking an emotional response and at the same time uses the phrase toobjectively support her argument. She evokes an emotional response byensuring the reader internalizes the idea of single-sex education.The phrase objectively supports the argument because it sums up onthe intricacy of single-sex education.

Did the author make anyemotional appeals to the reader? If, yes, provide at least oneexample.

The author does not employ emotional appeal. She uses researchfindings all through the article in making her claims.

Review the conclusion of thearticle. Identify at least one inference that you think can be drawnfrom the conclusion.

Based on the conclusion, one inference is that there are manychallenges to implementing single-sex educations. The conclusionargues that successful implementation of single-sex education iscomplex. Educators must be cautious of the motive behind such aneducation program. Also there are many legal issues to deal withprior to implementation of the programs. Public schools that decideto implement single-sex programs must ensure they comprehend thediffering legal implications. Although the conclusion highlights thepossibility of single-sex education in meeting the learning needs ofsome students, it delves more on the intricacy.

Did the author present anevidence-based argument or did the article rely upon emotionalappeals to persuade the reader?

The author does not depend on emotional appeals in persuading thereader. Instead, she presents an evidence-based argument. Right fromthe start of the article, the author presents her argument based onresearch conducted on the topic. She uses the findings from thestudies to provide both supporting and opposing views. The authors ofthe findings are properly cited, which enhances the evidence.Protheroe does not use emotional appeal because she does not makeappeals all through the article, rather she presents fact findings.

Briefly describe your reactionto the article. Did the author’s argument influence or change yourposition on the topic? If so, why, if not, why not?

The article effectively presents the argument. The author’sargument changes my position on the topic. Prior to reading thearticle I presumed that both single-sex education and coeducationhave the same impact on students. However, the article makes it clearthat the programs can affect students in different ways. This isbecause there are students that fare well in a single-sex classroom,while others perform well under coeducation.


Protheroe, N. (2009). Single-sex classrooms. Research Report.

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