Born at Durand, Wisconsin, she graduated from Wisconsin State Teachers College in 1907, studied at the universities of Rome and Munich as well as with Maria Montessori and was awarded her M.A. in 1943 from Yale University.
- "I am of the opinion that the influence of a teacher's conversation with an individual child on any ordinary academic subject is much more potent than what is said in a class lesson. Those of us who are older often hear sermons or lectures which inspire us, and if we are privileged to talk over points with the preacher or lecturer afterwards, the effect is much more emphatic and permanent. But how many class lessons have children to listen to which are boring and useless, and others where they are not sufficiently interested to ask a question? If we use class teaching and individual work in their proper places the best results will follow."
She died in New Milford, Connecticut.
- Parkhurst, Helen (1922). Education On The Dalton Plan. New York: E. P. Dutton & Company. pp. 15–16. Retrieved 2007-12-01.