The American State Normal School

An Instrument of Great Good

  • Authors
  • Christine A. Ogren

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Introduction: “It wasn’t Much of a College”

  3. Early Normal Schools, 1840s–1860s

  4. The Heyday of the State Normal School, 1870s–1900s

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 211-310

About this book


The American State Normal School is the first comprehensive history of the state normal schools in the United States. Although nearly two-hundred state colleges and regional universities throughout the U.S. began as 'normal' schools, the institutions themselves have buried their history, and scholars have largely overlooked them. As these institutions later became state colleges and/or regional universities, they distanced themselves from the low status of elementary-literally erasing physical evidence of their normal-school past. In doing so, they buried the rich history of generations of students for whom attending normal school was an enriching, and sometimes life-changing experience. Focusing on these students, the first wave of 'non-traditional' students in higher education, The American State Normal School is a much-needed re-examination of the state normal school.This book was subject of an annual History of Education Society panel for best new books in the field.


education higher education history of education learning school teacher education teaching university

Bibliographic information