Students in classroom 311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Teaching the sciences to boys and girls in separate classes causes a significant
increase in the performance of the girls, according to Knesset Science and
Technology Committee Chairman MK Ronit Tirosh, a former director-general of the
Education Ministry. She headed a discussion Wednesday about promoting science
The benefits of gender separation for teaching the sciences
was seconded by Prof. Noah Dana-Picard, president of the Jerusalem
College of Technology, which teaches engineering and related subjects to
observant men and women on separate campuses. He said that the lack of mixing
“has proven itself at our institutions.”
Weizmann Institute of Science
President Prof. Daniel Zaijfman gave the example of France, which has the
highest rate of women scientists because its educational system separated the
sexes in science classes.
Apparently, separation of the genders
eliminates the feeling of intimidation that women and girls feel when competing
with high-powered, science-oriented men and boys who are generally better
prepared for and directed to these studies.
Zaijfman said that gifted
pupils from 17 high schools in the Tel Aviv area reach his campus in Rehovot on
a regular basis to participate in high-level lessons in science from lecturers
Prof. Ehud Keinan, president of the Israel Chemistry
Society, said that youths from the periphery must be encouraged and helped to
He suggested establishing two centers: one in the the
western Negev and the other in Yeroham-Dimona to deal with the
problem. Tirosh said he agreed.