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Jon Roland on Education

Former 2008 Libertarian Senate Challenger


Return to mixed-age Lancasterian classroom system

In the one-room schoolhouse, students were not grouped into classes by age. Each student was given assignments appropriate to his or her level of development, and more advanced students in each subject were engaged to teach less advanced ones. Thus, every student was not only expected to perform well on exams, but to perform well as teachers of other students, which resulted in a level of mastery that studying for exams seldom achieves. The method used was known as the Lancasterian System.

When students are grouped by age, their development becomes excessively influenced by their peers, and insufficiently influenced by adults. If we are to save our constitutional order, we must return to some form of the Lancasterian system of education. That does not mean returning to actual one-room schoolhouses, of course, but organizing students of varying ages into teacher-led learning villages in which the more advanced students teach the less advanced.

Source: Opinion Columns at www.constitution.org , Jan 1, 1998

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