Lancaster, Joseph

Lancaster, Joseph, 1778–1838, English educator. In 1801 he founded a free elementary school, using a type of monitorial system for which he acknowledged his debt to Andrew Bell. The Royal Lancasterian Society was later established (1808) to direct the school. However, Lancaster, embittered by controversy with the society and with Bell, whose system had the support of the established church—Lancaster was a Quaker—went to the United States in 1818 to lecture. His efforts to establish a school at Baltimore were ended by his failing health. He moved to Venezuela, and later to Canada and New York City, to promote his educational ideas. Although Lancaster's ideas were generally well received during those journeys, he was unable to establish another school outside England. His writings on his system include Report of Joseph Lancaster's Progress from 1798 (1810) and The Lancasterian System of Education (1821).

See study ed. by C. F. Kaestle (1973).

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