Teachers debate gender issues in the US education system At Collins Middle School in Salem, Massachusetts, nearly six hundred 11 to 14-year-old pupils study in the strictly co-educational classes prescribed by Title IX, the US law that prohibits sex discrimination in federally-funded schools. But this may be about to change. The Bush administration has loosened Title IX. Collins headteacher Mary Manning, who has 36 years in education, believes pupils would benefit from studying in some single-sex classes in the two lower years. Discussion amongst the 110 staff at Collins is intense. At the same time, teachers use special activities to prompt pupils to understand how subtly gender stereotypes function in their consciousness. A dynamic class with 11-year-old boys and girls reveals some surprising assumptions.

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