A laboratory school or demonstration school is an elementary or secondary school operated in association with a university, college, or other teacher education institution and used for the training of future teachers, educational experimentation, educational research, and professional development.
Many laboratory schools follow a model of experiential education based on the original Laboratory School run by John Dewey at the University of Chicago. Many laboratory schools are still in operation in the United States and around the globe. They are known by many names: laboratory schools, demonstration schools, campus schools, model schools, university affiliated schools, child development schools, etc., but all have a connection to a college or university. Each university affiliated school has a unique relationship with a college or university and a different grade configuration. Some lab schools are only for preschool or kindergarten children, some are preschool through fifth or sixth grade, and some continue through high school.
Laboratory school classrooms may be observed by university professors to assess the student-teacher, but it is desired that the observation be done without the students or student-teachers aware of the observation, thereby avoiding creating a distraction or disruption of classroom activities.
Before the miniaturization and transistorization of electronic camera viewing systems, laboratory schools often included elaborate direct-view observation systems with special observation decks above classrooms or observation rooms alongside the classrooms. One-way mirrors and speaker/intercom systems allowed a professor to silently observe the classroom, but without being seen by the students or the student-teacher.
A modern laboratory school does not need to do anything special with building construction, and is able to use a standard-design school as a laboratory school. The standard rooms are instead outfitted with CCTV cameras hidden inside black plastic domes on the ceiling. Complex lens optics and multiple cameras allow a single stationary dome to view 360 degrees in all directions with no mechanical noises or moving parts, and high-speed Internet connections allow for a professor at a college to remotely view and interact with student-teachers in a distant laboratory school.
In either case there is no hiding from students or student-teachers that observation may occur, as it is plainly obvious there are special mirrors or cameras in the room. But they do not know when observation may or may not be occurring.
- UCLA Lab School—located on the campus of UCLA
- Model Laboratory School—a semi-private laboratory school located on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University, in Richmond, Kentucky, USA
- Education Laboratory School—a charter school in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, USA serving grades K-12
- Lab School of Washington—a school for students with learning difficulties
- Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School—a private, co-educational K-8 laboratory school on the University of Pittsburgh campus in Pittsburgh, PA, USA
- University of Chicago Laboratory Schools - a private, co-educational day school in Chicago, Illinois, USA
- University High School (Normal) - the first laboratory school in the United States
- University Laboratory High School (Urbana, Illinois) - a laboratory school on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana, Illinois, USA
- Northern University High School - a small public high school in Cedar Falls, Iowa that is run by the University of Northern Iowa, USA
- Greenwood Laboratory School - a comprehensive K-12 laboratory school affiliated with, and located on the campus of, Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, USA
- Laborschule Bielefeld - a laboratory school located in the city of Bielefeld, Germany
- Jordanhill School - an independent state co-educational day school in Glasgow, Scotland
- University of Toronto Schools - an independent co-educational day school affiliated with the University of Toronto.
- The School at Columbia University - an independent K-8 co-educational school affiliated with Columbia University.
- Polytechnic University of the Philippines Laboratory High School - a K-12 laboratory school that is affiliated and run by the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in the city of Manila, Philippines
- P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School - a public K-12 laboratory school affiliated with the University of Florida College of Education
- University of Santo Tomas Education High School- a K-12 laboratory school that is affiliated and run by the University of Santo Tomas College of Education in the city of Manila, Philippines