A student reading a correspondence school magazine, 1946

Three Centuries of Distance Learning

We will probably remember 2020 as the time when distance education exploded. But the infrastructure that enabled this expansion was years in the making.
Native Hawaiian schoolchildren around 1900.

How Public Schools “Americanized” Hawai’i

Colonial education administrators recruited teachers from the mainland, but soon realized another strategy was in order.
A classroom of young women

The End of Men, in 1870

In 1790, U.S. men were about twice as likely as U.S. women to be literate. But by 1870, girls were surpassing boys in public schools.
The Flower Girl by Charles Cromwell Ingham, 1846

When Botany Was for Ladies

In nineteenth century America, young women took to studying botany—a conjoining of interest, social acceptance, and readily available schooling.
A classroom in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in 1944

Teaching Race at School

Shaken by Nazi propaganda, educators tried to teach anti-racist lessons in the 30s-40s. Their methods, however, would be considered very problematic today.
this photograph likely depicts one of the classrooms where migratory workers passing through Chicago obtained practical and academic educational experience.

The Hobo College of Hobohemia

Vagrancy laws targeted hobos at a time when there were few jobs for them. They responded by forming a union and helping to create Chicago’s Hobo College.
Charles Drew sitting with medical residents at Freedmen's Hospital

The 1910 Report That Disadvantaged Minority Doctors

A century ago, the Flexner Report led to the closure of 75% of U.S. medical schools. It still explains a lot about today’s unequal access to healthcare.
Poster shows Uncle Sam playing a fife, leading a group of children carrying gardening tools and a seed bag.

The First School Gardens

In the early 1900s, immigration and child labor laws resulted in growing numbers of schoolchildren. Gardens were seen as a way to keep them under control.
Student with practice baby at Cornell University

When Home Ec Classes Borrowed Babies

In the early-to-mid 20th century, foster children in Canada and elsewhere were placed in practice homes and cared for by home economics students.
A classroom of white students in the 19th century

White Women’s Role in School Segregation

White American women have long played significant roles in maintaining racist practices. One sociologist calls the phenomenon "social mothering."