Co-education, education of men and women in the same schools. A modern phenomenon that was once and more widespread in the United States than in Europe, where tradition has proven to be a major obstacle. In early civilizations, people were educated informally: especially inside the house. Over time, education has become more structured and formal. Women often had very few rights when education became a more important aspect of civilization. The efforts of ancient Greek and Chinese societies were mainly focused on the training of men. In ancient Rome, the availability of education gradually expanded to women, but they were taught separately from men. Early Christians and medieval Europeans continued this trend, and throughout the reform period, same-sex schools imposed themselves on the privileged classes. At the 16th at the Council of Trent, the Roman Catholic Church strengthened the creation of free primary schools for children of all classes. The concept of universal primary education, regardless of gender, had been created.  After the Reformation, co-education was instituted in Western Europe, when some Protestant groups insisted on teaching Bible reading to young people and girls. The practice became very popular in the north of England, Scotland and colonial New England, where young children, both male and female, attended ladies` schools. At the end of the 18th century, girls were gradually admitted to municipal schools.
The Society of Friends, in England and the United States, did pioneering work in co-education, since they did universal education, and in the queser colonies in the British colonies, boys and girls usually attended school together. The new free or public public elementary schools that supplanted ecclesiastical institutions after the American Revolution were almost always co-educational, and by 1900, most public high schools were also co-educational.  In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, co-education was accepted much more widely. In Britain, Germany and the Soviet Union, the education of girls and boys in the same classes has become a recognized practice. With secondary education, children go through the puberty process and there is no general consensus on whether to educate both sexes together. There are arguments for and against.  The United States is an extreme where both sexes are educated together at all stages. The other extreme is some traditional societies where girls are not enrolled in secondary education at all. The trend is for more countries at all levels of education to switch to co-education as the norm.  Co-education was first introduced in Western Europe after the Reformation, when some Protestant groups insisted that girls and boys learn to read the Bible. The practice developed particularly in Scotland, the northern parts of England and colonial New England, where young children of both sexes attended ladies` schools. In the second half of the eighteenth century, girls were gradually admitted to municipal schools.
The Society of Friends in England as well as in the United States were pioneers in co-education as well as in universal education, and in the Quäkers colonies in the British colonies boys and girls usually attended school together. . . .