Advantages of Co-education at The Summit

Given The Summit's mission of teaching the whole child, we strongly believe in coeducation. While pop psychology books abound on the merits of coeducation versus single-sex education, with conflicting research supporting one view and then the other, we have come to our conclusion based on our 120 years of experience educating children. We started off as a girls school, added a separate boys school, and then decided that coeducation was best for delivering our mission. Here's why:

  • Coeducation is a more natural, real world experience. Segregation of the sexes can lead to gender stereotypes, biases, and unwanted behaviors. We view our job as preparing children to compete in and contribute to the world they will inherit. We think they will be better prepared to do that if their education takes place in an environment similar to what their experiences will be during the rest of their lives.
  • Coeducation contributes to diversity of thought and point of view. Boys should be exposed to works of Brontë just as girls should read Tolkien. Class discussions are enriched when girls and boys express their intellectual and emotional reactions to what they read. Inevitably, gender influences life experiences, and life experiences are influenced by gender. Such discussions can't be replicated in a single sex classroom.
  • While some tout the access to resources students receive in single-sex environments, our experience is that girls can excel in math and science and boys can excel in the arts if they are taught by experienced teachers in an environment which encourages equal opportunity. Their education is enhanced when boys and girls work side by side on a project.
  • Social development is one of the key "pillars" of a Summit education. Learning how to manage relationships and talk with each other is critical to the development of emotional intelligence in children. We think that happens more easily and naturally in a coeducational environment.

The fundamental principle behind a Summit education is developing well-rounded leaders of character who improve the world they inherit. The young men and women who graduate from The Summit are equipped with the academic prowess and social skills to compete successfully in college and beyond.