Student perceptions of classroom learning environments in single gender lower secondary English classes

Year: 2001

Author: Cavanagh, Robert, Mollon, Kelly, Dellar, Graham

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The learning environments within seven lower secondary single gender English classes in a Perth school were investigated. The researchers hypothesised there would be differences between the female and male class groups. Research methods included administration of the Classroom Cultural Elements Questionnaire (CCEQ) to each class. In previous studies, the CCEQ had solicited significantly different responses from females and males in mixed gender classes. A complementary qualitative case study examination of Year Eight classes with observation, videotaping and interviewing students and the respective teachers was also conducted. The CCEQ profiled student perceptions of eleven classroom attributes. Data were subject to one-way analysis of variance and effect size by gender, class membership and year level. Of the eleven attributes, only two were significantly different due to gender, however, six were different due to class membership and three due to year level. The qualitative case studies of the Year Eight classes revealed differences in the teaching resources used in the male and female classes, but not in the observable behaviour of the teachers or the students. The study found that differences in classroom learning environments between single gender classes were only slightly related to the gender of children in the respective classes.