The Impact of Coed versus Single Sexed Physical Education Classes on Girls' Self-Efficacy

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Tessarolo, Ali
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There has been a steady decline in females' physical activity as they reach adolescence. Physical activity provides many physical as well as mental and emotional benefits. School Physical Education classes provide an environment to keep students active and teach them about the importance of being fit and healthy. However it is a trend that most females tend to devalue the importance of physical education class as they age and do not elect to take physical education in their later high school years. The purpose of this research was to investigate the impact of coed verse single sexed physical education and see if there was an impact on girls participation and self efficacy. The investigation of this problem took place through studying the literature of others who have researched the subject. It was concluded that neither coed nor single sexed PE classes have proven to be more beneficial for female students. Both coed and single sex PE can have a positive impact on girls however many coed classes are not structured to favor female students and therefore females get left behind or left out. The key to success is the teacher structuring the class whether it be coed or single sex to include interests of the girls as well as create an environment that is safe and inclusive. Even though female students tend to like activities such as dance, yoga and Pilates more than boys it is important to not stereotype all female students. There are recommendations at the end of the paper on how to structure a class so that female students feel well represented and their interests are valued. Furthermore it is recommended that school provided multiple types of classes both single sexed and coed so that the student can decided what learning environment best suits them and their needs.