Thesis Title

Developing the Girl as a Leader

Graduation Date

Fall 2011

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD


Single-sex educational environments can create young women who are engaged, active leaders. Girls receive differential treatment in combined-sex education environments. Girls often do not receive the encouragement or instruction to assume leadership. I want to identify the elements of single-sex education that foster female leadership and consider their application in the public education system.

The literature in the field clearly indicates that girls and boys develop differently, learn differently, and therefore have unique needs in education. While girls in education have made great strides in the last forty years, a gender gap still exists in education. Girls' test scores have improved drastically in the areas of math and science since the 1980s, but girls enrollment in math and science courses are still not equal to that of their male peers. While the test scores attest to girls' abilities, classroom treatment is still differential based on gender. Studies also show that girls benefit from single-sex education, both in academics and in how they perceive their educational experience.

While test scores may indicate that girls are improving in comparison to their male colleagues, girls receive less and different attention from teachers than their male peers do. In all girls’ schools, girls do not experience that differential treatment. Girls in all girls’ schools are in fact learning and practicing powerful leadership skills that girls in coeducational schools are not.

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