Single-sex schools in Spain: A qualitative analysis of the reasoning and perceptions of their principals

Escuelas diferenciadas en España: un análisis cualitativo de las razones y percepciones de sus directivos

Jaume Camps Bansell y Elisabeth Vierheller

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22550/REP76-1-2018-05

Single sex education is still present in Spain’s school panorama within a predominantly co-educational environment. Although there are some pieces of research from English- speaking countries on the reasons for promoting or maintaining this model of schooling, there are no studies from Spain. The proposed objective of this research is to examine in depth the reasons and motivations —pedagogical and otherwise— for creating or maintaining separation by sexes in single-sex schools in Spain, and —in the principals’ perceptions— discover the good practices used in these schools and their outcomes. This work is based on qualitative analysis of twelve in-depth interviews with principals of these schools, which were recorded, transcribed, and processed using the Atlas.ti program. The analysis of the results enabled us to reach a variety of conclusions: separation is viewed as a practice that favours the objectives of individualised education; single-sex schooling, within an appropriate educational plan, delivers advantages in areas such as gender equality or academic excellence; it makes it possible to meet a wish of the families; the inclusion of training plans for equality in these schools is a general practice. It is also apparent that the educational importance of teaching staff as gender role models to achieve greater equality of opportunities is valued.

 

Cite this article as: Camps Bansell, J. and Vierheller, E. (2018). Escuelas diferenciadas en España: un análisis cualitativo de las razones y percepciones de sus directivos | Single-sex schools in Spain: A qualitative analysis of the reasoning and perceptions of their principalsRevista Española de Pedagogía, 76 (269), 101-117.  doi: https://doi.org/10.22550/REP76-1-2018-05

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Jaume Camps is Senior Lecturer of Theories and Educational Institutions in the Department of Education at Universitat Internacional de Catalunya. His main lines of research focus on gender issues at school and in the development of Personalized Education.

Elisabeth Vierheller is Vice-president of the Latin American Association of Centers of Differentiated Education in Argentina. Online tutor and Teacher of Single-sex Education. PhD student at Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. Her main line of research is differentiated education or single-sex in complex social contexts.