Small isolated country schools were the major educational institution in rural America for more than two hundred fifty years until they were replaced by consolidated schools by the second half of the twentieth century. Country School Memories uses the techniques of oral history to capture ehe insights of forty-seven individuals who had participated in the one-room school experience as teachers or students during the period from 1900-1955. Beginning with an overview of rural education during the twentieth century, the authors analyze the distinctive pedagogy of rural schoolteachers, the character of the teachers, and the culture of the schools. They discuss the school consolidation movement that ended the reign of one-room schoolhouses and draw conclusions about lessons that can be learned by contemporary educators from old-time schools.
ROBERT L. LEIGHT is Professor Emeritus of Lehigh University, College of Education. ALICE DUFFY RINEHART is Professor Emerita of Lehigh University, College of Education.