Believe it or not, one room schoolhouses like the one in Little House on the Prairie still exist. While most public school students don’t have one adult serving as their teacher, principal and guidance counselor all at once, the model allows for a style of teaching that could benefit teachers everywhere. Each student gets his or her own learning plan, works collaboratively with children of different ages, is encouraged to be an individual learner and gets the support he or she needs at the right moment. In his CBS segment, Barry Peterson reports that parents appreciate that their children can progress academically at whatever pace suits them, without worrying if he or she is mature enough for a higher grade.
One mom, Cynthia Trygier, said the one room schoolhouse was a great fit for her son Thomas: “Kindergarten, he was already moved up into first grade reading and math, and it was a smooth transition,” she said. “I don’t want him to grow up too fast; I want him to enjoy his childhood. And in this school, he is still a first grader, but he’s doing second and third grade work in reading and math.”
There’s nothing like a desk and a chalkboard to bring back memories of the one-room schoolhouse. Unless, that is, you live in one of the American towns where these fabled schools are more than just a memory. They’re alive and teaching.