The Saturday Evening Post History Minute: The Vanishing One-Room Schoolhouse

At one time, more than 200,000 one-room schoolhouses dotted the American landscape, but over time, almost all of them have disappeared. Did we lose something in the transition to larger and more centralized schools?

A one-room schoolhouse built in 1878 in rural Michigan (Library of Congress)

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  1. We need to go back to the community schools which are smaller with a more conducive learning environment. Personally, we’d be better off with the smaller schools at all levels, K-12. When schools became consolidated, the learning environment suffered and the discipline issues became great. I know that from a personal experience being a student from a rural environment.

  2. Thanks for this POST History Minute on the vanishing one-room school houses. There were both advantages and disadvantages to them, just as there are with the separate grade schools (public and private) we’re all so familiar with.

    Students helping other students, and the sense of community they bring may be just the right alternative for more students than we might think in the 21st century. Obviously modern in all the basic ways it would need to be, while retaining and bringing back the aspects lost in the regular schools today. I’m thinking a kind of hybrid-type school that would have the flexibility and techniques needed for more learning stability in such an unstable world.


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