Students and many staff of today don’t know what the campus school was, but for anyone who came to Brockport in the ’70s or before it is a familiar concept. Basically the idea was to have an actual school running within the context of the college, where people planning to become teachers could do their practice teaching, new education methods tested etc.
The campus school was part of Brockport from the late 1860s to the 1970s, a little over one hundred years. Malcolm MacVicar, an early leader of the school, was a big proponent of learning by doing, and vigorously supported campus schools as a concept.
The composition of the school varied over the years. In earlier years it actually ran Grades 1-12! After the village of Brockport established its own high school post WWI, the campus school became Grades 1-8. It was housed on campus along with all other campus programs. Today’s Cooper Hall was originally established specifically to house the campus school.
Student teachers would teach under the watchful eye of full time “Teacher-Critics,” who both supervised and taught the class itself, as well as the student teachers. Spots for school children in the campus school were long sought after, as it was considered something of a cutting edge educational opportunity. Most of our SUNY peers ran similar campus schools. As teacher training methods changed, and SUNY cutbacks were needed, the campus schools were eliminated and today are a fond and important memory of the school.
Next summer, 2011, there will be a reunion of the campus school. Watch this space and the college news for more information this spring! (Pictured here are campus school students and student teacher holding a parade ca1955. The archives has quite a bit of material related to the campus school.)