The Schoolroom

A Social History of Teaching and Learning

by Dale Allen Gyure


Between the ages of five and eighteen, the average American spends more time in school than in any other place outside of the home.

Print Flyer
Cover image for The Schoolroom

July 2018


Pages 215
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/General
  American History/General

This book examines schoolrooms and their material contents to reveal insights into the evolution of education and the translation of educational theories and cultural ideals into practice.

School attendance is nearly universal in our society, yet very little is known about the history of the classrooms we occupy and the objects we encounter and use in our educational lives. Why are our school classrooms designed as they are? When was the blackboard invented? When did computers start appearing in schools?

Through analysis of classrooms and objects within them, The Schoolroom: A Social History of Teaching and Learning details the history of American education, describing how architects, in collaboration with educators, have shaped learning spaces in response to curricular and pedagogical changes, population shifts, cultural expectations, and concern for children's health and well-being. It illustrates connections between form and function, showing how a well-designed school building can encourage learning, and reveals little-known histories of ubiquitous educational objects such as blackboards, desks, and computers.


  • Provides an unprecedented history of the classrooms that so many of us occupy during our most formative years
  • Brings readers closer to the design of school buildings
  • Explains how spaces and objects influence teaching and learning and reflect educational ideologies
  • Details how school buildings have evolved over the years
Series Description

History of Human Spaces

The History of Human Spaces series explores different rooms and social locations that humans have occupied throughout U.S. history, from the earliest colonial period through the present day. Focusing on the evolution of both private and public spaces, such as the bathroom and the schoolroom, each title in the series provides the history of a specific space as well as an overview of its architecture, materials, and design. Delving further into the social, cultural, political, and economic significance of each space, the series uncovers how these spaces have impacted American life and history.
Author Info

Dale Allen Gyure, PhD, is professor of architecture at Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI. He is the author of The Chicago Schoolhouse: High School Architecture and Educational Reform, 1856–2006 and the essay "Creating Friendly School Environments: ‘Casual' High Schools, Progressive Education, and Child-Centered Culture in Postwar America," in Designing Schools: Space, Place, and Pedagogy. Dr. Gyure has served on the Boards of Directors of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, and Docomomo Michigan, and is a member of the Michigan Historic Preservation Review Board.

Look Inside

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Daily Life in Colonial New England, 2nd Edition cover imageDaily Life in the Colonial City cover imageA Day in a Working Life cover image

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