Boston (Mass.). Committee for Superintending the School for Mutual Instruction
The mutual (or monitorial) system of instruction, which had been created by English educator Joseph Lancaster, was widely popular in the early nineteenth century. The Lancasterian system relied upon having the older or more advanced students instruct the younger or weaker students under the supervision of the schoolmaster. On July 2, 1820, at a Town meeting, an appropriation of $1000 was voted and the School Committee was authorized to establish a School for Mutual Instruction. The School Committee voted on October 22, 1821 to create a committee of seven men to oversee and care for the School. The Committee found the school and its method of instruction to be superior and recommended their general adoption. The School Committee took charge of the school in September of 1823.