Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

Elizabeth Madson

Second Advisor

Kathryn Swanson


The goal of this study was to look at the issue of gender separation from the perspective of parents whose child(ren) attended a school with gender separate classrooms. For the purposes of this study, the researcher interviewed four couples whose children attended a school with a gender separate classroom model. From the data collected, the researcher saw three major themes emerge; these themes were: (a) the weight of gender separation when choosing a school, (b) advantages seen/experienced in gender separate classrooms, and (c) the disadvantages of gender separate classrooms. The researcher found that gender separation is not the primary motivator for these parents when choosing a school, but for them, gender separate classrooms played a key role in achieving the results they desired for their children. Their children were given the opportunity in the classroom to excel both academically and socially in a way that their parents had not experienced when in high school. It was important to all the parents that their children felt a sense of freedom in the classroom, that they could excel academically and build strong friendships. The parents perceived these postive outcomes occuffed precisely because their children were in a gender separate setting. One of the implications of examining the disadvantages of gender separate classrooms, from the parent perspective is the opportunity it provides schools to understand the concerns that parents are facing, especially if it's not a disadvantage that is readily apparent in the classroom or seen as a concern by the school.


SC 11.MAE.2013.Berchem.H