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University Schools



The creation of the University Schools, known as the experimental schools or the University Laboratory Schools, began during the President Walter A. Jessup administration, allowing for Director Dr. Ernest Horn to open the experimental elementary school on September 20, 1915. The University High School was established, also within the College of Education, in 1916 for grades 9-12, and grades 7 and 8 were added the following year.   The University Elementary School and the University High School operated on campus for nearly 60 years. Parents welcomed the benefits afforded their children of a school directed through the University of Iowa College of Education rather than a school board, which allowed greater autonomy in curriculum design. Advanced training in science, art and music, among other subjects, was provided on campus, and resources such as the University Libraries were readily available. Through observation and testing, teaching programs were devised around methods that produced optimal results, hence the experimental designation.   The 1919 Bulletin of the State University of Iowa states the purpose of the University Elementary school was for supervisory training of principals and superintendents, and not for teacher training. The High School, however, was intended for teacher training from the outset, as well as for exploring new methods of teaching, according to the 1917 Bulletin of the State University of Iowa. The purpose of the elementary school expanded over time to include teacher training. President Willard (Sandy) Boyd reluctantly closed the University schools in 1972 due to reduced state appropriations.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

University Schools Records

Identifier: RG09.0007.001
Scope and Contents This collection consists of records for the University Elementary School and University High School. These include reports, correspondence, bulletins and catalogs, minutes, handbooks, and documentation from workshops. This collection is primarily organized chronologically by material type within three series. Series I consists of Administrative records. Series II (University Elementary School) consists of six sub-series: Annual Reports, Handbooks, Note to Teachers, Testing Programs, Minuet Annual Plays, and Photographs. Series III (University High School) consists of 10 sub-series: High School, Athletic Program, Annual Reports, Teacher's Handbook, Testing Program, Yearbooks, U-High Life, Parnassus, Memorabilia, and Fiftieth Anniversary.This collection is a rich source of images. There are three carousel slide trays of images taken during the 50th anniversary celebration in 1966, and nearly four feet of index cards bear the names and addresses of alumni. Photographs may be found...
Dates: 1916-1977