Full Service School : A History Essay

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Full-Service Schools: A History Full-service community schools are based on two principles, “that the purpose of schooling is to educate youth for democratic citizenship, and that schools and communities are inextricably intertwined and interdependent (Benson, Harkavy, Johanek, & Pucket, 2009, p. 22).” The idea of a full-service school is not new and has been around for more than 100 years. Inspiration for today’s version of a full-service school can be traced to 1889, when Jane Addams built the Hull House in Chicago, based on Victorian-era settlement houses. Addams’ program focused on art, recreational activities, kindergarten programs, visiting nurses, and college extension courses, for the mainly working-class, immigrant neighborhood. Addams believed that social problems were interconnected and could only be solved with a holistic approach (Benson, et. al., 2009). John Dewey also helped to further the concept of full-service schools and the idea of school as a social center and is credited with pushing the Addams settlement house movement into public schools. In the early 1910s, many schools across the country were functioning as social centers and being used as movie theaters, art galleries, libraries, even a dentist office opened within a school in New York (Benson, et. al., 2009). Dewey’s idea of schools as a social center gave way to such things as auditoriums, gymnasiums, libraries, health rooms, that we now think of as standard within a school (Benson, et.

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