Illustration: An arithmetic class at a school in London, England. Published in the Illustrated London News, October 3, 1891

Source: Getty

Why Would Parents Oppose Compulsory Education?

In Victorian England, reformers thought all children should go to school. That didn't sit well with everyone—and not just kids.
A line drawing of a girl with a tablet

Does Virtual Learning Work for Every Student?

Given Covid-19, schools have limited options for teaching kids. What’s working and not working in the era of online learning?
Paulo Freire in 1963

Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed at Fifty

The Brazilian educator Paulo Freire’s book, first published in English 50 years ago, urges viewing students as interlocutors or partners in the learning process.
Four top pickers holding barrels of beans. Morrisvile. 1943.

The Brooklyn College Farm Labor Project of the 1940s

The coronavirus pandemic left farmers falling back on students to pick crops. But it certainly wasn’t the first time.
Pee Dee Rosenwald School, Marion County, South Carolina, c. 1935.

How Black Communities Built Their Own Schools

Rosenwald schools, named for a philanthropist, were funded mostly by Black people of the segregated South.
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.