RESEARCH SHOWS: GIRLS' SCHOOL GRADUATES HAVE AN EDGE
Schools for girls are transformative places, where every girl can enjoy the opportunity to realize her full potential, to draw on her talents and discover new ones in a setting where she is understood, valued, and challenged. While the curriculum at St. Timothy’s School has changed dramatically in the past few decades, the foundation is still the same. Today we are focused on helping girls succeed in traditionally male subjects such as math, science and technology. We offer programs in financial literacy where girls learn to balance a budget, invest in the stock market and write business plans for start-up companies. We have developed curricula to help girls navigate tough female adolescent issues such as body image, eating disorders and sexual health, and all of our students have the opportunity to lead both inside and outside of the classroom.Above all though, as when we were founded, we create a space where young women can focus on their heads and their hearts, not on their looks and the materialistic pressures of everyday society -- giving girls a solid base of confidence and self-knowledge from which to go out and thrive in the world. Our girls readily embrace pushing themselves to explore academic and career realms that suite their interests, rather than subscribing to gender stereotypes or traditional roles.At a girls’ school, as nowhere else, the female perspective becomes the critical lens – one that informs teaching and learning, athletics, the arts, and personal and social development. Opportunities to gain confidence abound. It is an education ideally suited to the way girls learn and the way they develop. Girls’ schools are places where girls are encouraged to take healthy risks and to explore the edges of what is possible. In this all-girl environment, a culture of success has been established where the expectation is that all students will participate, work hard, and be responsible.
For the first time, educators have solid evidence of the effectiveness of girls' schools. A recent UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies report details the results of a well-documented, national study which shows the statistically significant edge girls' school graduates have over their coed peers. This peer-reviewed research disentangles the effects of single-sex education from confounding demographic influences. The findings, analyzed by Dr. Linda J. Sax and her colleagues at UCLA, indicate that female graduates of single-sex high schools demonstrate higher levels of academic engagement, SAT scores and confidence in mathematical ability and computer skills. They also show higher levels of political engagement, greater interest in engineering careers, measurably more self-confidence in public speaking and a stronger predisposition towards co-curricular engagement.
At girls' schools there is a culture of achievement in which a girl's academic progress is of central importance, and the discovery and development of her individual potential is paramount. They are also places where empathy is recognized as an important skill to be nurtured and honed.