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Country Day School movement

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Country Day School movement is a movement in progressive education that originated in the United States during the late 19th century. Country Day Schools sought to recreate the educational rigor, atmosphere, camaraderie and character-building aspects of the best college-prep boarding schools,[citation needed] while allowing students to return to their families at the end of the day. To avoid the crime, pollution and health problems of the industrial cities of the early 20th century, the schools were sited in the 'country', where wealthy families owned large homes in areas that would later be known as suburbs.


The Country Day School movement shared many values with the Arts and Crafts movement. School buildings and campus landscaping were designed with the goal of creating an inspirational atmosphere that would foster learning and culture. In keeping with this holistic view of the student learning environment, various "after-school" programs promoted student development, including athletic programs, choir and religious studies, and monitored study time. Students were given opportunities to develop leadership skills through clubs and student organizations.

The first Country Day Schools were Poly Prep Country Day School, University School (near Cleveland), Detroit Country Day School, Gilman School, McDonogh School and The Summit Country Day School.[1] These six college-preparatory schools provided the structure and campus location format which would guide many more Country Day Schools that would be built around the country over the next 100 years. A leader in the movement, Tower Hill School, was founded by the du Pont family in Wilmington, Delaware, and headed by Burton Fowler, a devout follower of John Dewey and president of the Progressive Education Association.[2]

List of schools[edit]

Along with those listed above, prominent Country Day Schools include the following:

United States[edit]

Other countries[edit]


  1. ^ "Summit CDS". www.summitcds.org. Archived from the original on 2018-10-12. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  2. ^ Forever Green, A Commemorative History of Tower Hill School, Wilmington, DE, 1994, 13-70.
  3. ^ "The Country Day School in McLean Virginia". www.countryday.org. Retrieved 2020-02-07.