One of the world’s 100 most important educators of the 20th century, Helen Parkhurst’s devotion to children began at an early age in Pepin County, including her first teaching job at age 17.
Parkhurst studied under Maria Montessori, developed her own educational theory called the Dalton Plan, opened her own school in New York City, wrote several books and had her own radio and television programs. Her influence spread across the globe, with schools in the Netherlands, England, Japan and others adopting the Dalton Plan of education. The new Helen Parkhurst exhibit traces the life of this extraordinary woman from Durand!
Pepin County Roots
Helen was born and raised in Pepin County. After graduating from Durand High School, Helen taught in a one room schoolhouse near Arkansaw, WI.
She studied under Maria Montossori and developed her own educational theory called the Dalton Plan. The Dalton Plan aimed to tailor the educational system to the students’ needs, abilities and interests, while also enhancing the students’ responsibility for their own learning. Parkhurst emphasized the development of the whole child.
Books, Radio & TV
Helen Parkhurst wrote several books during her career and had her own national radio and television programs. Parkhurst hosted a children’s educational program on ABC Radio Network in New York City.
Worldwide Contribution to Education
Her influence spread across the globe, with schools in the Netherlands, England, Australia, Japan and others adopting the Dalton Plan of education. Parkhurst is listed as one of the world’s 100 most important educators of the 20th century.