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Issue: March 2004
Achieving Balance: Secondary Physical Education Gender-Grouping Options
This article provides options and a rationale for expanding gender-grouping considerations to include single-gender, coed, and combination strategies for instruction in secondary physical education classes. This rationale is based on empirical evidence that suggests that female students are denied equal opportunity to achieve learning goals during coed physical education classes. Provisions in Title IX provide teachers with latitude to legally instruct students in coed groupings. Differences in the way that male and female students experience physical education create significant instructional needs for teachers to address during coed classes. Single-gender classes are a legitimate option to provide female students with an equal opportunity to achieve learning goals in a physically and emotionally safe environment. The three provisions in Title IX legislation that provide justification for single-gender classes are to ensure safety during units that involve contact activities, to ensure that students have an opportunity to achieve skill, and to ensure that students are not adversely affected by evaluation standards. Teachers need to meet the instructional needs of secondary students within the complexity of gender concerns.
Article category: Gender Issues