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[xmca] Fwd: John Dewey school at Towson Maryland

Dear Colleagues-- I am forwarding two messages from Derek Patton who wrote
about a Deweyesque school of long duration that sounds as if it might be of
interest to xmca-ites. As you will see, Derek is seeking someone(S) who
might document this case. Seems ripe as a project for someone living in the
area or an enterprising student in any number of fields.

PS- Second note to come.

Dear Michael,

Hi. Just read your 2010 What's culture got to do with it? article, very
good, and thanks for picking up on Sarason's long campaign.

You may not know that there was an extremely innovative primary school based
partly on John Dewey philosophy that operated within the campus of Towson
State Teachers College, now Towson University in Towson Maryland which
started in 1866 and may have closed about 1990 or so, named first the
Laboratory school, then Model school, and eventually called Lida Lee Tall,
after a renowned College Principal. We have a Facebook group of ex-students,
and I have been trying to find if anyone within the University did research
on this school or other accounts. Could do some retrospective if we had
enough graduates and matched them (us) with graduates of local schools.
There is an online free history book up to 1941 that has a chapter on the
"Laboratory School: Children on Campus" at this address:

My mother who was an MD Johns Hopkins U graduate told me it was a John Dewey
school, and that was why we were all sent there.
Anyway, I went there as did my 2 brothers in the 50s and now that I know a
lot more about school culture and learning, I realize how exceptional it
was. We basically escaped Baltimore County school system restrictions and
limitations and because the College was considered "expert" in how to run a
school, being the main trainer of teachers and originally  was the "highest
authority in the State on all educational theories and practices within the
sphere of the public school system." p. 86. I am not sure when some
bureaucrats hijacked this ideal situation, but in my time as a student they
got away with doing much differently than the county schools. They sent
faculty off to study under Dewey, Frank McMurry and William Bagley. The book
says at one point they considered that children from 6 - 10 "should do all
their work within school hours. Home lessons for such children are an injury
to the home, to the school, to the child and to the teacher." p. 86, and
"children learn by *doing  *more than by merely looking and saying...It has
been proposed of late to make both reading and writing the subordinate
instruments of a scheme of real instruction...An acquaintance with
*things *takes
precedence over more verbal instruction." (Allen's *Mind Studies  *was one
of the books listed for the teachers.) p. 87
Teachers were trained in:
"principles of all true teaching are emphasized: means of securing the
attention of the pupils and the power to keep them busy are dwelt upon."
"They are taught to trace here the effect back to cause, to note the
processes of the development of the subject in the minds of the several
children, and to form their own laws for the same; to study closely the
relationship existing between pupil and teacher, the influence of the
teacher upon the mind and habits of the pupil, and the cause of this
influence, etc. The students (student teachers) report upon their
observations, inferences, etc., in a conference help weekly, conducted the
the teacher in charge of this department."

Anyway, maybe you have academic contacts in Maryland or nearby who would be
interested in this. Given the length of time they did innovative things, one
would think there is some evidence around in the form of long term outcomes
such as the lives of those who were students there. The school also did a
lot of testing of students, which one would hope is stored somewhere. It
could be a gold mine sitting there right within a university's ownership
waiting to be tapped. One problem of course is the question of what the
actual curriculum and practice were at different times, and then what were
the results of that on the children compared to other schools. I tried
emailing someone in the University, but it seems this didn't attract any
attention. All that happened was finding this free book online of the first
75 years of the teachers college.

just a thought,


Derek W Patton 白登德 M.Ed, PGDip
Child & Family Psychologist, reg NZ
PhD candidate U Melbourne

(current primary mailing address)
146 Queensberry Street,
Carlton 3053 Victoria, AUSTRALIA

University of Melbourne,
Melbourne Graduate School of Education
100 Leicester Street, Level 2
Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA    d.patton@pgrad.unimelb.edu.au

+61 (3) 9035 5381 work office
+61 (3) 8344 0993 work FAX (must be marked clearly Derek Patton Level 2)
+61 0422 499 297 mobile in Australia
primary email: derekpatton19@gmail.com

PO Box 73    (permanent address & school holidays)
Leithfield Beach 7446
North Canterbury, NEW ZEALAND

+64 (3) 314 8986 home
+64 (3) 314 8928 fax
+64 21 186 6596 mobile in NZ
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