Carpenter, Peter, & Hayden, Martin
Girls' Academic Achievements: Single-Sex Versus Coeducational Schools in Australia
Institute of Catholic Education, Melbourne
Examines whether type of secondary school attended (sex composition) affects girls' academic achievements net of other relevant factors.
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Sociology of Education
Vol. 60, No. 3, pp. 156-167
- Mother's education was the most important independent predictor of the type of school a girl attended.
- In one state, attendance at a girls' school was a significant predictor of a girl's exposure to key social influences, her enrollment in a science course in year 12, and her academic achievement. In the other state, however, the sex composition of the school did not affect academic achievement or selected antecedents.
- Upper-middle class parents choose single-sex schooling for their daughters. In both states, the daughter of a better educated mother is significantly more likely to attend a girl's school.
- In both states, friends' plans are directly affected by the sex composition of the school.
- The educational level of a girl's mother has powerful influences on the type of school a girl attends, on the encouragement she receives to obtain a level of education akin to her mother's, and on her association with friends who have similar educational plans.
- Girls in girls' schools have higher academic achievements, even when social origins, social influence, and curriculum are controlled.
- The sex composition of the school not only predicts a girl's exposure to key social influences and curriculum choices but also mediates the effects of the social structure upon achievement and clearly plays a role in reinforcing the social and cultural advantages of particular girls.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Academic Achievement, Context, Gender, Sex Composition
Secondary Survey Data
Method of Analysis:
High School Senior Girls
Unit of Analysis:
- Data were collected in separate investigations in two Australian states, Victoria and Queensland.
- Data from two different samples of year 12 students one from Victoria and one from Queensland. One is known as the TEAS (Tertiary Education Assistance Scheme), and the other is a panel study of year 12 school leavers' career beginnings.
- Girls in the final year (year 12).
- DV: Year 12 academic achievement.
- IV: Father's occupational status, parents' education, girls' perceptions of parents' and teachers' encouragement to enter higher education, sex composition of the school, peer's plans, science course, etc.