Country Day School Movement
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Country Day School Movement

The Country Day School movement is a movement in progressive education that originated in the United States in the late 19th century.

Country Day Schools seek to recreate the educational rigor, atmosphere, camaraderie and character-building aspects of the best college prep boarding schools while allowing students to return to their families at the end of the day. To avoid the crime, pollution and health problems of the industrial cities of the early 20th century, the schools were sited in the 'country,' where wealthy families owned large homes in what would later be known as suburbs.

The Country Day School movement shared many values with the Arts and Crafts movement. School buildings and campus landscaping were designed with the goal of creating an inspirational atmosphere that would foster learning and culture. In keeping with this holistic view of the student learning environment, various "after-school" programs promoted student development, including athletic programs, choir and religious studies, and monitored study time. Students were given opportunities to develop leadership skills through clubs and student organizations.

The first Country Day Schools were Poly Prep Country Day School, University School, Detroit Country Day School, The Gilman School, The Summit Country Day School[1], and The McDonogh School. These six college preparatory schools provided the structure and campus location format that would guide many more country day schools that would be built around the country for the next 100 years. A leader in the movement, Tower Hill School was founded by the du Pont family in Wilmington, DE, headed by Burton Fowler, a devout follower of John Dewey and President of the Progressive Education Association.[2]

Along with those listed above, prominent Country Day Schools include the following:


  1. ^ a b "Summit CDS". Retrieved .
  2. ^ Forever Green, A Commemorative History of Tower Hill School, Wilmington, DE, 1994, 13-70.

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