Dalton Plan

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The Dalton Plan is an educational concept created by Helen Parkhurst. It is inspired by the intellectual ferment at the turn of the 20th century.[not verified in body] Educational thinkers such as Maria Montessori and John Dewey influenced Parkhurst while she created the Dalton Plan. Their aim was to achieve a balance between a child's talent and the needs of the community.[not verified in body]


Parkhurst's specific objectives were as follows:[1][page needed]

  1. To tailor each student's program to his or her needs, interests and abilities.
  2. To promote each student's independence and dependability.
  3. To enhance the student's social skills.
  4. To increase their sense of responsibility toward others.

Influenced at least in part by the teachings of Judo after conversations with the founder of Kodokan Judo, Dr Jigoro Kano. Ref page 72 and 86 ISBN 978-1-56836-479-1

She developed a three-part plan that continues to be the structural foundation of a Dalton education:[1][page needed]

  1. The House, a social community of students.
  2. The Assignment, a monthly goal which students contract to complete.
  3. The Laboratory, a subject-based classroom intended to be the center of the educational experience. The laboratory involves students from fourth grade through the end of secondary education.

Students move between subject "laboratories" (classrooms) and explore themes at their own pace.[citation needed]

Introduction in UK[edit]

In 1920, an article describing the working of the Dalton Plan in detail was published in the Times' Educational Supplement. Parkhurst "has given to the secondary school the leisure and culture of the University student; she has uncongested the curriculum; she has abolished the teacher's nightly preparation of classes and the child's nightmare of homework. At the same time the children under her regime cover automatically all the ground prescribed for examinations 'of matriculation standard,' and examination failures among them are nil."[2]

The Dalton Plan is a method of education by which pupils work at their own pace, and receive individual help from the teacher when necessary. There is no formal class instruction. Students draw up time-tables and are responsible for finishing the work on their syllabuses or assignments. Students are also encouraged to help each other with their work. The underlying aim of the Dalton Plan is to achieve the highest mental, moral, physical and spiritual development of the pupil.[citation needed]

In the spring of 1921, English headmistress Rosa Bassett went to the Children's University School and stayed with Parkhurst. They spent hours talking about education. Parkhurst found Bassett in complete agreement with her ideas: "She was Dalton," Parkhurst wrote 50 years later. She described Bassett and Belle Rennie as the two people in England who were most enthusiastic and most helpful about the introduction of the Dalton Plan. Rosa Bassett was instrumental in the first application of the Dalton Plan of teaching within an English secondary school. She contributed a chapter to Parkhurst's book on the Plan,[3]


List of schools[edit]




  • Basisschool De Kleine Icarus, Gent
  • Basisschool De Lotus, Gent
  • Basisschool Dalton 1 Hasselt
  • Basisschool Dalton 2 Hasselt
  • Middelbare Dalton school VanVeldeke Hasselt
  • Het Leerlabo, kleuter-, lager en secundair daltononderwijs, Westerlo[5]
  • Dalton Middenschool Lyceum, Gent


Czech Republic[edit]

  • ZŠ a MŠ Chalabalova, Brno
  • ZŠ a MŠ Husova, Brno
  • ZŠ a MŠ Křídlovick, Brno
  • ZŠ a MŠ Mutĕnická, Brno
  • ZŠ Rájec-Jestřebí
  • Gymnázium Slovanské námĕstí, Brno
  • ZŠ Benešova Třebíč
  • Základní škola, Brno
  • Základní škola Brno, Brno



Global School, Rahuri. MH


In Japan, Admiral Osami Nagano introduced a progressive educational method such as the Dalton plan to the Japanese Naval Academy School and influenced it.




  • Academy International, Warsaw


United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dewey, Evelyn. The Dalton Laboratory Plan. New York, NY: E.P. Dutton.[page needed]
  2. ^ May 27, 1920, article in the Times' Educational Supplement
  3. ^ Parkhurst, Helen (1922). Education On The Dalton Plan. New York: E. P. Dutton & Company. pp. 175–195. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
  4. ^ Ludbrook, Juliet, "Gertrude Mary Walton (1881–1951)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, retrieved 2024-04-25
  5. ^ "Daltoncampus Het Leerlabo". Het Leerlabo.
  6. ^ "温州市道尔顿小学 学校简介An Introduction to Dalton Elementary School".
  7. ^ "Berufliche Schulen, Bachelor & Ausbildung - Angell Akademie Freiburg". www.angell-akademie.de.
  8. ^ "Gymnasium Alsdorf - Gymnasium der Stadt Alsdorf". www.daltongymnasium-alsdorf.de. May 3, 2022.
  9. ^ "Dalton Grundschule Unstruttal - Start". www.gs-unstruttal.de.
  10. ^ "Marie-Kahle-Gesamtschule der Stadt Bonn".
  11. ^ "Albrecht-Dürer-Gymnasium, Website".
  12. ^ "Dalton | Friedrich Schiller Schule Erfurt".
  13. ^ "Gymnasium Essen-Überruhr - Dalton-Pädagogik". www.gymnasium-essen-ueberruhr.de.
  14. ^ "Dalton-Konzept. IGH FAQs 2019" (in German). Internationale Gesamtschule Heidelberg.
  15. ^ Gymnasium Lage, Website
  16. ^ "Home". www.debakelgeert.nl.
  17. ^ "Daltononderwijs, de 5 kernwaarden uitgelegd - Brederode Daltonschool". June 13, 2022.
  18. ^ "Homepage". Casimirschool.
  19. ^ Roach, John (2004). "Badley, John Haden (1865–1967), headmaster". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/47647. ISBN 978-0-19-861412-8. Retrieved 2021-01-02. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  20. ^ "Cecile McLachlan; Artist, teacher and inspiration for St Trinian's". HeraldScotland. 23 October 2009. Retrieved 2021-01-02.
  21. ^ Kean, Hilda. "Bonwick, Theodora Ellen". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/63836. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

External links[edit]