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Re: [oneroom] Myths of a One-Room School

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  • dhavran@aol.com
    You may not consider this a myth, but it always bothered me. The contemporary literature encouraging consolidation of rural schools into graded schools said
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 29, 2006
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           You may not consider this a myth, but it always bothered me. The contemporary literature encouraging consolidation of rural schools into graded schools said one of the advantages of graded schools was that teachers could spend more of their time with an individual student because the teacher did not have to divide time between multiple grades. Mathematically this never worked out. State attendance records going back to 1872 showed the one room school I attended consistently had about 12 students. My class in a graded consolidated school had 30 students. If we assume a six hour day there is no way a teacher could devote more personal time to an individual student in the graded classroom. 30 minutes per student were available in the one room school as opposed to 12 minutes in the graded school.
           The one room school disappearance really took off following World War II. One of the miracles of World War II was the rapid training of defense workers. The new workers were shown how to do a job. There was an opportunity for questions and the new employee tried the job. There was an opportunity to make any corrections. One of the last parts of the training that proved very effective was the newly trained employee showed the instructor how to do the job. This last step really reinforced the training.   I have not seen any discussion of this in the contemporary general education literature. This was going on in my one room school where older students were given time to instruct lower grades. One specific example was word flash cards. I did begin to read as a kindergarten student aided by older students. The consolidated graded system did completely away with these built in teacher aids and educational reinforcement of older students. Now teachers aids have to be hired and older students still do not get an opportunity to reinforce what they have learned with younger children. This whole teaching method has been lost. 
    • Robert Goodman
      This inter-grade teaching is actually still going on. Homeschoolers across the country have truly, in many cases, revived the educational soundness of the
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 4, 2006
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        This inter-grade teaching is actually still going on.  Homeschoolers across the country have truly, in many cases, revived the educational soundness of the oneroom school.  When we have groups of homeschoolers visit our oneroom schoolhouse at Living History Farms in Des Moines, Iowa, it gives us a great opportunity to re-enact school as it used to be.
        Judy

        dhavran@... wrote:
        This last step really reinforced the training.   I have not seen any discussion of this in the contemporary general education literature. This was going on in my one room school where older students were given time to instruct lower grades. One specific example was word flash cards. I did begin to read as a kindergarten student aided by older students. The consolidated graded system did completely away with these built in teacher aids and educational reinforcement of older students. Now teachers aids have to be hired and older students still do not get an opportunity to reinforce what they have learned with younger children. This whole teaching method has been lost.





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