Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Lawrence Shhlack

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Warfield

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan Brown


The laboratory school movement in America has been one of the most powerful influences in the history of teacher education. Founded primarily as a facility for training teachers, laboratory schools expanded beyond early, narrow functions of observation, participation and modeling to broader concepts including observation and demonstration, research and experimentation, student teaching and dissemination of instructional and teaching procedures.

Despite the importance of laboratory schools in teacher preparation there has been a steady demise in their numbers since World War II. Investigation for this dissertation focused on the factors affecting the demise of laboratory schools in America using Western Michigan University's Campus School, Kalamazoo, as a case study. Literature searches and interviews with School of Education and Campus School personnel involved with Western Michigan University's Campus School during the late 1950s and 1960s were carried out.

Although no single reason was found for the steady demise of laboratory schools in American or for Western Michigan University's Campus School, several factors are cited including legislative concern about campus schools and the elite, specialized population they served, confusion over the mission for the Campus School, lack of cooperative projects among School of Education and Campus School personnel, the movement from teachers colleges to multi-purpose universities, large increases in students desiring student teaching assignments and lack of leadership are among factors found to effect the demise of laboratory schools in America and at Western Michigan University's Campus School.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Campus Only