David James & Edrys Barkham

The delight of taking the Dalton direction

US educationalist Helen Parkhurst’s novel system of education is a relatively untried but highly rewarding approach to schooling, say these school leaders

Helen Parkhurst had a relatively simple yet highly effective view of how education should be conducted. The basis of her system, called the Dalton system, is that pupils should receive one-to-one attention from their teachers, assignments should be specific and reflect the ability of the pupil, pupils should be set individual targets to be achieved in a specific time, and pupils should be responsible for finding the best way to achieve their targets.

Influenced by high-profile educationalists John Dewey and Maria Montessori, Parkhurst introduced her method to the Dalton High School ...

Subscribe to continue reading

Get full access to our magazine to keep up-to-date with the latest education research, insight and analysis – including audio articles and back issues