1753–1832, British educator, b. St. Andrews, Scotland. After seven years in Virginia as a tutor, he returned to England, was ordained a deacon, and later (1789) became superintendent of an orphan asylum in Madras (now Chennai), India. Here he developed the monitorial system
, which he described in a pamphlet, Experiment in Education,
published upon his return to London (1797). Joseph Lancaster, a Quaker, established a school on similar principles, which was copied by large numbers of nonconformists. Bell organized a system of monitorial schools that taught the principles of the Established Church.
See biography by R. Southey and C. C. Southey (3 vol., 1844); J. M. D. Meiklejohn, An Old Educational Reformer (1881).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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