Making School Real – 1898

from “The School and Real Life” by Herman T. Lukens 1898


Associate professor of cultural anthropology. Ed Traceur. Hacker. Car-free.

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18 Responses

  1. Ira Socol says:

    I can go back to William Alcott in the early 1840s and find all of our battles – should students be allowed to play? naturally and comfortably interact? is isolation a good idea? is the “Prussian Model” (age-based grades) really compatible with childhood diversity?

    The biggest problem with reforming and redesigning our education system is that so many see the system as “natural” and “inevitable.” It is neither. It was invented for political and socio-economic purposes, and it needs to be completely changed to reflect the contemporary world.

  2. Chris says:

    I simultaneously love this, and am crushed to see a tangible example of how we have been struggling with this same issue for generations to little effect. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Drew M. Loewe says:

    Showing to my students….arrrghhh…Chris is right

  4. Brandy says:

    Thank you for this post, it has renewed my flagging spirits as I struggle with homeschooling. You have given me the pep talk I was needing.

  5. monika hardy says:

    wow. 1898. you’d think we’d get it somewhere along the way.

    nothing at all like your videos… but our 2010 version:

  6. Kate E says:

    Thanks for sharing. It’s pretty amazing and pretty sad how little has changed.

  7. naima says:

    Got a question,

    I am on a thesis about new technologies and schools…
    Don’t know how to structure my thesis…anyone has an idea?


  8. @naima,

    Do you have something specific that interests you in the subject of new technologies and schools? It’s a really broad area, and you’ll probably have to narrow your focus for it to make sense.

    I’m interested in the same things, but for my dissertation I’m interested in looking at teachers who use Web 2.0 technologies such as blogging and Twitter for professional development.

    This semester in Digital Ethnography, I’m looking at how YouTube is being used in schools.

    If you can narrow your focus down, it will be a lot easier for you to write a thesis. What part of technology and schools is most interesting to you?

  9. Ann-Louise Davidson says:

    Hi Naima,
    Do you have a theoretical framework in mind? What is your research question? What is your research problem?
    Start by structuring your research, then you can think of structuring your thesis.
    Hope this helps!

  10. J. R. Radney says:

    Hey, Mike! Check out the discussion on

    It seems like an issue some of your students might like to pursue…


  11. Heather says:

    I couldn’t agree more how sad it is that so little have change.
    Thanks for the share!

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  14. ILEAD India says:

    Thanks for sharing such great information. it was good to know so many facts regarding schooling such long way back. Great post!

  15. Ed says:

    It would be nice to see schools all over the country work together, but it doesn’t look like the school systems see anything wrong with the way they are now. I dropped out of high school because I wasn’t learning to be home school. I learned more in 3 years of home schooling than I did in all my years at public school. I would say things needs to change. Great post.

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