The new idea of teaching children: old school classrooms
As followed in the public schools of Washington – Photography and described by Frances Benjamin Johnston
The boys and girls of today could teach many things to the boys and girls of past generations, but what they could demonstrate most forcibly would be the vast difference between the schooling of today and that of a generation ago.
The old-fashioned school was a school was for the imparting of information, where books were the authorities, With the dawn of the new education, the idea of teaching by means of books became subordinate to the idea of education through living facts or things.
This new idea in education has swept in a gradual but mighty wave has over the country, and has recently been embodied in several hundred photographs made in the public schools of Washington, D.C., by Miss Frances Benjamin Johnston, for the Paris Exposition of 1900.
The United States Commissioner of Education has pronounced this series of pictures as “the best expression, to date, of the new idea in education.”
Science lessons: Expansion by heat
History class, Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, Alabama (1902)
7th grade school pupils in DC (1899)
Kids walking with beanbags on their heads
These little boys and girls were learning poise, posture and balance
Mathematics class at Tuskegee Institute (1906)
Students in a chemistry class conducting an experiment
Vintage classroom – Conversation lesson: The chair
Kids relaxing before singing
The children in the picture are being given an exercise in relaxation and stretching preparatory to a singing lesson.
Each child is permitted to relax the entire body, and encouraged to give freedom to every instinct. In this way, the body is stretched and the muscles readjusted toward the normal, so that the child is in a more favorable condition to express himself in singing.
Old-fashioned carpentry class at school
Mechanical drawing class at Tuskegee Institute, ca. 1902
High school biology lab for girls
Throwing bean bags
This illustration shows a class of children in one of the primary schools receiving a lesson in arithmetic combined with physical training.
The children are throwing bean-bags into rings. Each child writes upon the blackboard the number of bags which he or she succeeds in throwing into each ring. When all the children have played, a prize is given to the one who is most successful in throwing the bags.
Elementary school classes on American Indian culture (1899)
Anatomy class with students & teacher at the blackboard
Teaching girls hand-sewing and hemming
Advanced lessons on stitchery & on sewing machines
Class portrait of kids in Washington DC (1899)
Learning about flowers, and how to write in cursive
Learning about birds
From specimens of living birds and mounted ones, these children are being given a lesson on birds. The youngest child soon learns the difference between birds which fly and those which creep. The lessons are supplemented by the study of birds at the Zoo.
Food science class
These girls are learning the science underlying all cookery — as, for instance, the boiling of water and its temperature, the action of heat on albumen, as shown in the white of an egg, and the effect of cold water in extracting meat juices.
Cleaning up after cooking
These young girls are putting the school kitchen in order after their morning lesson, so it may be ready for the next cooking class.