Lancaster School

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The Lancaster School (also: Bell-Lancaster School) was a type of school of the 19th century that primarily promoted the mutual teaching of students.


The so-called monitoring system envisaged that more experienced students should teach younger ones and thus increasingly grew to become assistant teachers. The implementation took place in a so-called sweeping system, strongly characterized by drill , which in a class that is not divided into years, allowed half of the students to sit and the other half to memorize standing on the wall .

The method goes back to the British educator Andrew Bell , who advocated the system of mutual teaching as early as the end of the 18th century . However, it was only implemented by the British Quaker Joseph Lancaster , who practiced the method in a school founded especially in Southwark . From England the type found in Italy , Bulgaria , Spain and France , in the early 19th century also in Sweden , but less so in Germany . In Switzerland it was mainly associated with the name of the Franciscan Gregor Girard through his sponsorship . As early as 1824 Pope Leo XII banned the system for Catholic schools that is now classified as educationally dysfunctional. In the following decade the Lancaster schools went under completely.

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