Skip to main content

Boston (Mass.). Committee for Superintending the School for Mutual Instruction


Historical note

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.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Committee for Superintending the School for Mutual Instruction records

Identifier: 0401.001
Scope and Contents note This series consists of three sub-series: Sub-series I - Committee correspondence and reports; Sub-series II - Reports on attendence and tokens; and Sub-series III - Observation reports. Sub-series I includes correspondence, votes, reports, and records of the business of the Committee. One significant item is a detailed description by William B. Fowle of his visit to the Free Schools in New York City. Sub-series II includes the reports of the schoolmaster, William B. Fowle, which provided...
Dates: 1821-1823