Campus Laboratory School Records
Scope and Contents
The Campus Laboratory School Records (1899-1997) document the operation, administration, and mission of the San Diego State University Campus Lab School, and includes correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, student work, and meeting minutes. The majority of materials primarily date from the 1960s and focus on the school's innovative teaching methods and experimentation. Highlights include several scrapbooks with photographs of students working on school projects, staging plays, and going on field trips. The collection is divided into five series: Administrative Files (1899-1993), Library Files (1950-1970), Parents Association Files (1949-1971), Campus Lab School Publications (1955-1977), and Photograph, Scrapbook, and Student Project Files (1925-1970).
The Administrative Files (1899-1993) document the day-to-day operations of the Campus Lab School. Highlights include a Sixth Grade Camp "scrapbook," which details the founding, planning, and logistics of the sixth grade camp program. The series consists of correspondence and reports, and provides very limited documentation prior to 1955 or after 1970.
The Library Files (1950-1970) document the operation, activities, and statistics of the Campus Lab library. These files primarily consist of daily, monthly, and annual reports, which contain reference and circulation statistics, although there is some correspondence. Of particular interest is the "Unusual Questions" section of the monthly reports.
The Parents Association Files (1949-1971) document the administration and activities of the Campus Lab Parents Association. Highlights include meeting minutes, which discuss everything from a disturbance at the Christmas pageant to starting a glee club. Arranged alphabetically, these files include council minutes, committee files, reports, bulletins, and by-laws.
The Campus Lab Publication Files (1955-1977) document Campus Lab activities, research, and notable events. Arranged by publication, these files consist of Campus Lab newsletters, reports, and instructional materials for various teaching methods, technologies, and class projects. The materials primarily date from the late 1950s to 1960s.
The Photograph, Scrapbook, and Student Project Files (1925-1970) visually document Campus Lab School activities and events, such as field trips, class projects, student work, and class photographs. Of particular interest are materials relating the 1997 Campus Lab School reunion, and hand-made books students created for a class project including The Lost Swan, Sandy the Seal, and The Little House.
- Majority of material found in 1950-1970
- Campus Laboratory School (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.
Initially named the Training School, the Campus Laboratory School (or Campus Lab School) was established in 1900, and located on the State Normal School campus. The school provided instruction for elementary, middle, and high school students in small classes where they could receive more individualized instruction. Besides serving as a grammar school, the Training School allowed Normal School students the opportunity to instruct the students themselves, thus providing practice and teaching experience. When Edward Hardy began his term as president in 1910, he discontinued the high school segment of the Training School because increasing enrollment (by 1910 the Training School had over four hundred students) was causing space problems. To accommodate the growth in enrollment the school moved into a separate building.
When the college moved to Montezuma Mesa in 1931, the Training School maintained its own separate building on the new campus as part of the science complex. This new facility featured classrooms, a library, and a playground. In 1936, the school set up a Child Study Laboratory for Home Economics students to earn credit towards their degrees. In 1953, during a period of campus expansion, the Campus Lab School again relocated to a new building, and officially changed its name to the Campus Laboratory School. Several years later, because of an influx of students in the School of Education, the Campus Lab School transitioned from its original purpose as a "practice" school to an observation and research center. Although students in the teacher program were still able to student teach at the school, the majority of students observed classes and instructional techniques at the school, and received their student teaching experience at other San Diego public schools.
Despite this shift in function, the school remained extremely popular, and had a long waitlist by 1960. In addition, the school's curriculum was innovative and on the cutting-edge of educational techniques, child development, and teaching training. The school experimented with individualized curriculum, a non-graded organizational structure, team teaching, self-directed learning, creative teaching, bilingual programs, and programs for special needs and gifted students, all of which propelled the Campus Lab School and San Diego State's teaching program to national recognition. In 1970, state budget cuts forced the closure of the Campus Lab School. The old Campus Lab site was razed in 1991.
5.51 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
I. Administrative Files, 1899-1993
II. Library Files, 1950-1970
III. Parents Association Files, 1949-1971
IV. Campus Lab School Publications, 1955-1977
V. Photograph, Scrapbook, and Student Project Files, 1925-1970
Source of Acquisition
- Campus Laboratory School Records
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note