Research supports the positive benefits of an all-girl environment on girls’ self esteem and performance in and out the classroom. By removing the gender variable from the classroom, girls are free to experience an environment where they feel safe to talk about issues they wouldn’t necessarily talk about with boys, try out new activites without fear of failure, and experience less pressure to look or act a certain way (Girl Scout Research Institute, 2002; 2003)
In general, girls prefer to approach situations with communication and collaboration while making connections with people and concepts. Since boys tend to prefer a different, more competitive learning environment, girls tend to become more reserved and hesitate to speak up when boys are present.
Working with all girls, Girl Scout leaders are able to optimize each girl’s unique potential by designing curriculum and activities specific to the girls’ developmental needs and unique ways in which they learn. Leaders are trained and attuned to the socio-emotional development of girls and are able to shape the learning environment to meet the needs and interests of girls.
Without boys, girls can explore careers, science, technology and art without regard to gender-related stereotypes in a supportive environment of their peers. Girls also become the leaders in their groups and set high expectations for themselves and their classmates. Research with alumnae from the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (2005) has shown that girls-only settings promote:
- a greater “can do” attitude
- a greater impact on young women’s social self-confidence
- more effective environments for personal development
- more encouragement to pursue science, math and technology
- more leadership opportunities
The Girl Scout experiential learning model is grounded in the best research and guides girls to discover, connect, and take action. In Girl Scouts, girls discover the fun, friendship and power of girls together. Through a myriad of enriching experiences, such as skill-building activities, community service projects, cultural exchanges and environmental stewardships, they grow courageous and strong.