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Laboratory School, University of Chicago

The University of Chicago Laboratory School is one of the most distinguished pioneer schools of the progressive education movement. This entry discusses the history of the school, its purpose, and its teaching philosophy and methods.

Founded in November 1894 by John Dewey and University President William R. Harper, the “Dewey School” opened its doors as University Primary School on January 13, 1896, in the Hyde Park area of Chicago, with 12 children present and one teacher in charge. The school, since October 1897 officially called University Elementary School and since October 1898, including a subprimary department, grew continuously, reaching its peak in 1901 with 140 children (predominantly from the wealthy and educated classes), 23 teachers, and 10 graduate students as teaching assistants.

In October 1901, Dewey appointed ...

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