大学英语六级题库/阅读理解 Section B

Should Single-Sex Education Be Eliminated?

      A. Why is a neuroscientist here debating single-sex schooling? Honestly, I had no fixed ideas on the topicwhen I started researching it for my book, Pink Brain, Blue Brain. But any discussion of genderdifferences in children inevitably leads to this debate, so I felt compelled to dive into the research dataon single-sex schooling. I read every study I could, weighed the existing evidence, and ultimatelyconcluded that single-sex education is not the answer to gender gaps in achievement--or the best wayforward for today's young people. After my book was published, I met several developmental andcognitive psychologists whose work was addressing gender and education from different angles, and wepublished a peer-reviewed Education Forum piece in Science magazine with the provocative title, "ThePseudoscience of Single-Sex Education."
  B. We showed that three lines of research used to justify single-sex schooling--educational, neuroscience,and social psychology--all fail to support its alleged benefits, and so the widely-held view that genderseparation is somehow better for boys, girls, or both is nothing more than a myth.
The Research on Academic Outcomes
  C. First, we reviewed the extensive educational research that has compared academic outcomes in studentsattending single-sex versus coeducational schools. The overwhelming conclusion when you put thisenormous literature together is that there is no clear academic advantage of sitting in all-female or all-male classes, in spite of much popular belief to the contrary. I base this conclusion not on any individualstudy, but on large-scale and systematic reviews of thousands of studies conducted in every major English-speaking country.
  D. Of course, there're many excellent single-sex schools out there, but as these careful research reviews havedemonstrated, it's not their single-sex composition that makes them excellent.  It's all the otheradvantages that are typically packed into such schools, such as financial resources, quality of the faculty,and pro-academic culture, along with the family background and pre-selected ability of the studentsthemselves that determine their outcomes.
  E. A case in point is the study by Lirnda Sax at UCLA, who used data from a large national survey of collegefreshmen to evaluate the effect of single-sex versus coeducational high schools. Commissioned by theNational Coalition of Girls' Schools, the raw findings look pretty good for the funders--higher SATscores and a stronger academic orientation among women who had attended all girls' high schools (menweren't studieC.. However, once the researchers controlled for both student and school attributes--measures such as family income, parents' education, and school resources--most of these effects were erased or diminished.
  F. When it comes to boys in particular, the data show that single-sex education is distinctly unhelpful forthem. Among the minority of studies that have reported advantages of single-sex schooling, virtually allof them were studies of girls. There're no rigorous studies in the United States that find single-sexschooling is better for boys, and in fact, a separate line of research by economists has shown both boysand girls exhibit greater cognitive growth over the school year based on the "dose" of girls in a classroom.In fact, boys benefit even more than girls from having larger numbers of female classmates. So single-sexschooling is really not the answer to the current "boy crisis" in education.
Brain and Cognitive Development
  G. The second line of research often used to justify single-sex education falls squarely within my area ofexpertise: brain and cognitive development. It's been more than a decade now since the "brain sexmovement" began infiltrating (渗入) our schools, and there are literally hundreds of schools caught up inthe fad (新潮). Public schools in Wisconsin, Indiana, Florida and many other states now proudly declareon their websites that they separate boys and girls because "research solidly indicates that boys and girlslearn differently," due to "hard-wired" differences in their brains, eyes, ears, autonomic nervoussystems, and more.
  H. All of these statements can be traced to just a few would-be neuroscientists, especially physician LeonardSax and therapist Michael Gurian. Each gives lectures, runs conferences, and does a lot of professionaldevelopment on so-called "gender-specific learning." [ analyzed their various claims about sex differencesin hearing, vision, language, math, stress responses, and "learning styles" in my book and a long peer-reviewed paper. Other neuroscientists and psychologists have similarly exposed their work. In short, themechanisms by which our brains learn language, math, physics, and every other subject don't differbetween boys and girls. Of course, learning does vary a lot between individual students, but researchreliably shows that this variance is far greater within populations of boys or girls than between the twosexes.
  I. The equal protection clause of the US Constitution prohibits separation of students by sex in publiceducation that's based on precisely this kind of "overbroad generalizations about the different talents,capacities, or preferences of males and females." And the reason it is prohibited is because it leads fartoo easily to stereotyping and sex discrimination.
Social Developmental Psychology
  J. That brings me to the third area of research which fails to support single-sex schooling and indeed suggests the practice is actually harmful: social developmental psychology.
  K. It's a well-proven finding in social psychology that segregation promotes stereotyping and prejudice,whereas intergroup contact reduces them--and the results are the same whether you divide groups byrace, age, gender, body mass index, sexual orientation, or any other category. What's more, childrenare especially vulnerable to this kind of bias, because they are dependent on adults for learning whichsocial categories are important and why we divide people into different groups.
  L. You don't have to look far to find evidence of stereotyping and sex discrimination in single-sex schools.There was the failed single-sex experiment in California, where six school districts used generous stategrants to set up separatc boys' and girls' academics in the late 1990s. Once boys and girls weresegregated, teachers resorted to traditional gender stereotypes to run their classes, and within just threeyears, five of the six districts had gone back to coeducation.
  M. At the same time, researchers are increasingly discovering benefits of gender interaction in youth. Alarge British study found that children with other-sex older siblings (兄弟姐妹) exhibit less stereotypicalplay than children with same-sex older siblings, such as girls who like sports and building toys and boyswho like art and dramatic play. Another study of high school social networks found less bullying andaggression the higher the density of mixed-sex friendships within a given adolescent network. Then thereis the finding we cited in our Science paper of higher divorce and depression rates among a large group ofBritish men who attended single-sex schools as teenagers, which might be explained by the lack ofopportunity to learn about relationships during their formative years.
  N. Whether in nursery school, high school, or the business world, gender segregation narrows ourperceptions of each other, facilitating stereotyping and sexist attitudes. It's very simple: the more westructure children and adolescents' environment around gender distinctions and separation, the more they will use these categories as the primary basis for understanding themselves and others.
  O. Gender is an important issue in education. There are gaps in reading, writing, and science achievementthat should be narrower. There are gaps in career choice that should be narrower--if we really want tomaximize human potential and American economic growth. But stereotyping boys and girls andseoarating them in the name of fictitious (虚拟的) brain differences is never going to close these gaps.

1.[选词填空]Hundreds of schools separate boys from girls in class on the alleged brain and cognitive differences.
    2.[选词填空]The findings of the national survey of college freshmen about the impact of single-sex schooling fail totake into account student and school attributes.
      3.[选词填空]A review of extensive educational research shows no obvious academic advantage of single-sex schooling.
        4.[选词填空] Boys from coeducational classes demonstrate greater cognitive abilities according to the economists'research.
          5.[选词填空]Reviews of research indicate there are more differences in brain and cognitive development within the same sex than between different sexes.
            6.[选词填空]As careful research reviews show, academic excellence in some single-sex schools is attributed to otherfactors than single-sex education.
              7.[选词填空]The author did not have any fixed ideas on single-sex education when she began her research on thesubject.
                8.[选词填空] Research found men who attended single-sex schools in their teens were more likely to suffer fromdepression.
                  9.[选词填空] Studies in social psychology have shown segregation in school education has a negative impact onchildren.
                    10.[选词填空] It wasn't long before most of the school districts that experimented with single-sex education abandonedthe practice.
                      参考答案: G,E,C,F,H,C,A,M,K,L