Overview of the Collection
Arrangement of Materials:
Scope and Contents
Overview of the Collection
Collection Title: Campus Laboratory School Records
Bulk Dates: 1950-1970
Campus Laboratory School
Physical Description: 5.51 linear ft
Language of Materials:
Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
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.
This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
San Diego State University. Campus Laboratory School -- Archives
San Diego State University. Campus Laboratory School -- History -- Sources
Genre/Form of Material:
Conditions Governing Use:
The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature
of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.
Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish
must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted,
permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are
made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the
materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Conditions Governing Access:
This collection is open for research.
Identification of item, folder title, box number, Campus Laboratory School Records, Special Collections and University Archives,
Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.
Arrangement 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
Scope and Contents
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.