The North Texan Online UNT North Texan contents UNT North Texan feature stories UNT North Texan eagle tale UNT  North Texan alumni news UNT North Texan feedback
MoreUNT North Texan time tracksUNT newsUNT North Texan contact usUNT North Texan past issues



time tracks
Down the corridor
Ghost stories




IT WOULD BE A CRUDE COLLEGE OF MEDICINE THAT WOULD teach surgery by lectures, without clinics,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction R.B. Cousins in 1909. He was urging legislators to fund teacher’s training schools — in which students could practice teaching — at the state’s normal colleges.

A few years later the Senate agreed, and North Texas opened its school in January 1914. In its first semester, the school met in a $5,426, seven-room building. A director and four teachers led 100 students in seven grades, while education students helped out.

Over the years, the training school — also known as the laboratory or demonstration school — grew and eventually housed kindergarten through high school classes. Parents did not pay tuition.

According to Howard Smith, Dean Emeritus of education and former UNT interim president, by 1950 each class had about 24 students, and parents put their children on admission waiting lists. Many of the parents worked at the college, and many of the school’s students later returned to North Texas to work. Melody Kelly, now associate dean of libraries, attended kindergarten at the school in 1955.

“The teachers were very innovative,” she says. “They always used the latest techniques, and there were always student teachers from the College of Education. I remember once when some students who were going to be art teachers made a huge papier-mâché elephant with wheels on it that we could ride.”

Smith says the teachers and students at the school were well monitored — literally.

“Students in the teaching program could observe the lab school teachers on closed-circuit television while they taught class. This gave us a chance to discuss what was going on in the classroom immediately,” he says.

The school closed in 1969 because of rising costs and increased university enrollment — there were more education majors than could interact with the small number of children.

“I do miss the idea of a lab school,” Smith says. “The building (now the Music Annex) is still there, but you don’t see any children around it during recess.”



UNT home UNT calendarCampaign North TexasNorth Texas Exesathletics