This paper recounts the history of nongraded elementary schools. After the American Civil War, there arose an uncoordinated effort to question graded practices. By the end of the 19th century, schools which sought to be more sensitive to differences in children's learning styles were established. Notable among these schools was Dewey's Laboratory School (1893-1903). In the 20th century, Stoddard's Dual Progress Plan proposed that students spend half the school day in a homeroom and half the day studying elective subjects under specialist teachers. In Germany around 1923, Petersen established a school that featured heterogeneous age groupings. Petersen's ideas influenced the establishment of nongraded schools in Wisconsin. Other European influences on the American nongraded school movement included Montessori's schools and the British Infant and Primary School system. Since the mid-1940s, public education in America has been in disequilibrium. The implementation of nongraded programs has been facilitated by the practices of multi-age grouping and team teaching, and hindered by a number of factors, the most important of which is the lack of true professional status for the teaching profession. Appended materials include a glossary, a 15-item reference list, and an excerpt from an 1867 book on graded schools. (BC)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).
Dewey (John); Dual Progress Plan; European Influences; Multi Age Grouping; Petersen (Peter); United States