Using Primary Sources and Artifacts To Align Instructional ACtivities to Curriculum standards

Carla Abreu-Ellis and Jason Brent Ellis, 1-15

  • For the past few decades, leaders of a national standards movement have attempted to create a guide for the states to determine the content and skills every kindergarten through twelfth grade student should master. In this article, Professors Abreu-Ellis and Jason Brent Ellis describe what occurs in a restored, one-room country schoolhouse when students reenact curricular activities from the nineteenth century. The professors connect these “authentic learning” experiences to Ohio’s standards in social studies, mathematics, geography, and language arts.

  • Key words:  Common Core Standards, primary sources, artifacts, schoolhouse curriculum, one-room school, authentic learning, fourth grade students, historical reenactment, pedagogy, social learning

“The Educational Interest of the State”: Vermillion, Dakota Territory's First Schoolhouse

Kurt Hackemer, 16-32

  • In September 2014, the replica of a simple building made of cottonwood logs was designated the first permanent school in Vermillion, South Dakota. Built in 1864, the original building—including its educational activities—signifies the hopes and dreams of its frontier settlers. Professor Kurt Hackemer argues that Vermillion’s first permanent school reveals much about how Americans in the 1860s defined concepts such as democracy, citizenship, and national unity. The building became a symbol of stability when these important ideals were threatened by bloody local and national conflicts.

  • Key words: Vermillion schoolhouse, Dakota Territory, Sioux War, Civil War, frontier settlers, Indian attacks, American values, democracy, unity, social disruption, civic good, market economy, self-made man

An Experimental One-Room School: The Concord Summer School

Debra A. Corcoran, 33-48

  • One of the most prestigious schools established to offer challenging intellectual fare occurred in a one-room schoolhouse in Concord, Massachusetts, called the Concord Summer School of Philosophy. In the following paper, Debra Corcoran traces the inception, growth, and demise of this fascinating school where leading New England intellectuals and St. Louis Hegelians guided learners along the paths of modern philosophic thought.

  • Key words: Concord Summer School of Philosophy, New England transcendentalists, St. Louis Hegelians, Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Torrey Harris, one-room school, women’s education, philosophy  

Losing a way of life: The closing of a country school in Rural nebraska

Jeanne L. Surface, 49-64

  • A major trend in the United States during the twentieth century was school consolidation. This effort meant closing one-room schools and replacing them with fewer, larger schools. How did people living in rural areas respond to this change? After all, many country schools were the only public buildings in a community. They united people living there and gave them a shared identity. In the following study, Professor Jeanne Surface makes a qualitative assessment of the impact of school consolidation on a particular school in Nebraska and the families affected by this development.

  • Key words: school consolidation, one-room country school, rural school districts, qualitative research, Nebraska legislation, Class 1’s United, educational excellence, political activism