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Several one-room schools have been restored and preserved. One of these schools was restored, relocated and is now part of the local county museum. You can see it at their website,

Jerry Rous

I "graduated" from 8th grade in a one room school house in rural Central Wisconsin. The year was 1960. Then I went to a high school of about 400 students. My class in high school was the smallest as the Baby Boomer years really started exploding right behind me (I often joke that I was the very first Boomer).

The one room school: had about 23 students of which about 15 were my cousins. By the time I was in eigth grade I was a co-teacher to all the other grades. Later in graduate school in a course on the sociology of education I learned that this was now called "vertical tracking." It gave me an excellent education because I learned early that you don't truly understand something until you have to teach it to others. I am now involved with distance education (two way video/audio and online)in a university. My first experience with this was that we got our art class and music classes from a little black radio sitting on a back window shelf from something called Wisconsin School of the Air (now Wisconsin Public Radio).

Obviously, my memories are very much on the positive side. By the mid 60's Wisconsin experienced integration and the creation of much larger "school districts." My little school a quarter of a mile from my house was closed and is still standing as a storage shed. My wife also attended a one room school in the southern part of the state (about 25 miles west of Madison). She constantly teases me because her school is now a museum. Once when our family went there for a picnic we dug under the teacher's desk and found some of my wifes grades listed in a book!

In my upcoming retirement it would be wonderful to buy back my school and restore it to the 1950's!

University of Wisconsin Stevens Point Continuing Education Program Manager

Jay Ekleberry

Never, ever, discount the power of peer to peer learning which one room schools had to do out of necessity. Necessity created a greater quality learning experience for all - "everyone a teacher, everyone a learner."

David J. Reilly

We should not foret the instructional materials used in the One Room School House. If we go back far enough there was the "McGuffy Readers" Primer-6. One set of books for years. Today we change textbooks every 5 years. The poems haven't changed, and the readngs haven't changed. Hey come to think of it neither has the Math.


NPR has a series right now on "Weekend Edition"

My mother (who was schooled in a one room schoolhouse) and I (educated in a suburban public school system)often compare notes on our very different experiences.

I have always been impressed with the sense of community the one room school house created for my mother. While my education was great, I never really knew most of my fellow students, in particular those not at my specific grade level. My mother, on the other hand, learned from and helped teach all her neighbors.


My mom taught in a one-room school house in Iowa and she noted that since so many levels of learning were being taught in one room, kids weren't stuck learning something they already knew, they could work ahead with older kids, hence--no boredom. By the way, she also had to be at school early enough to start the fire in winter and she had to cook a hot lunch every day for her students. At the end of the day, she was also the janitor.

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