Summit School strives to be an outstanding progressive school that promotes meaningful learning through interactive education. We see each child as an integrated whole, thus we provide numerous opportunities for the child’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive growth to foster her total development.
Summit’s approach to learning is called the Developmental-Interaction Approach. We create curricula that coincide with the capacities and needs of children at various stages of growth and provide opportunities for their interaction with the environment — of people, places, and things — that are important for learning and growth.
The school is responsible for fostering the individual’s ability to deal effectively with her environment. The development of competence is central. Competence means being as able as possible in all areas of development and being motivated to use one’s abilities.
Summit helps children develop a sense of autonomy and individuality. This involves a strong sense of identity, the ability to act on your own, to make choices, to take risks, and be able to accept help.
Coupled with this is the development of social relatedness and connectedness. This means caring about others, learning to feel part of larger social groups, forming friendships, cherishing diversity, developing awareness of human interconnectedness and the ecological world.
Summit encourages creativity which does not focus only on the product but honors the process of making. It involves having a range of means for expressing feelings and ideas — logical, intuitive, subjective.
Finally, the school promotes integration rather than compartmentalization. Integration means pulling together different ways of experiencing the world — joining thinking and feeling, making connections between how one feels and how others might feel.
The Bank Street Developmental-Interaction Approach "refers to the patterns of growth and ways of understanding and responding that characterize children and adults as they mature. Interaction points, first, to an emphasis on interaction with the environment, an environment of children, adults, and the material world. And, second, it points to the interaction of cognitive and affective development; that is, thinking and emotion are not seen as separate but as interconnected spheres of development."
Source: Anne Mitchell and Judy David (1992), Explorations with Young Children
—Bank Street College of Education, New York, USA