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West Georgia College Teacher Training Program and Laboratory Schools collection

Identifier: UA-0005-47

Scope and Contents

This collection contains surveys, newspaper articles, magazine articles, photographs and other materials concerning elementary schools designated as Laboratory Schools by the West Georgia College Rural Teacher Training Education Program.

This collection also contains personal correspondence between parents, teachers, and West Georgia College staff concerning the operation of the Laboratory Schools, as well as observations and essays by the student teachers who worked in these schools as part of the rural teacher training program.

The first series of this collection contains articles, newspapers, reports, surveys, personal correspondence, student documents, photographs, and other papers pertaining to Sand Hill Elementary School from the years 1937 to 1964.

Also in this collection are magazine clippings, plans, photographs, and documents pertaining to other laboratory schools (Tallapoosa School, Oak Mountain School, and Flat Rocks School) associated with the West Georgia College Rural Teacher Education Program and the Rural Teacher Program broadly. In addition, the collection contains a bound copy of the “Let's Do It Now Series” which was created specifically to aid educational initiatives at the West Georgia Laboratory Schools.


  • 1933-1983
  • Majority of material found in 1933-1964

Conditions Governing Access

Open to all users; no restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Rights held by the University of West Georgia.

Biographical / Historical

In 1933, West Georgia College began planning for a two-year rural elementary teacher training program. In that same year, the College worked with the superintendent of local schools to establish Maple Street Elementary School as a site for practice teaching, making it the program's first Laboratory School.

In 1936, West Georgia College president Irvine S. Ingram submitted plans for expanding the teacher education program, thus allowing the program to apply for a grant from the Julius Rosenwald Fund which was awarded in 1937. These funds were used to expand the Rural Education Program and add other schools in Carroll County to the list of laboratory schools: Tallapoosa Elementary School (1937), Sand Hill Elementary School (1939).

The collaboration between the Sand Hill community and West Georgia College began with the effort to build a school. Initially, the community was divided over costs and disagreements between local churches. Faculty from West Georgia College led productive discussions which resulted in getting the building accomplished and having it serve as a Laboratory School site. As part of the agreement between the Sand Hill community and West Georgia College, the college maintained the right to choose the teachers that would be hired for the future school.

The work done by West Georgia College and the Sand Hill community was widely seen as very positive. Sand Hill School was celebrated for its teaching methods and was featured in national magazine and newspaper articles, including an 1946 edition of Look magazine in an article titled, “The Hope of American Education."

The program and students at Sand Hill also inspired work on the “Let’s Do it Now” series which is a collection of booklets created to teach children about rural life and problems. Some of the titles include “Let’s Cook Lunch,” “Let’s Raise Pigs,” and “The Doctor is Coming.”

Over the next few years, West Georgia college also added Flat Rocks School, Oak Mountain School, Burwell School (1943), and McGiboney School (1939) to the list of laboratory schools in their program.

The Julius Rosenwald Funds were given for a period of ten years, until 1947. After these funds ran out, the program became the Cooperative Program in Elementary Education which likely gained funding from the Woodruff foundation through Philip Wletner.

In 1950, an article in the magazine The Instructor was written about Effie McGuire, a teacher at Oak Mountain School, and her exceptional work with students and prospective rural elementary school teachers.

In 1957, a small film was created about the work done at Sand Hill School and about the important work done by the West Georgia College faculty and students both within the school and the local community to create trust and build a network of support for Sand Hill school.


0.87 Linear Feet (2 boxes, 1 OV misc. folder)




This collection contains materials related to Sand Hill School, Burwell School, Flat Rocks School, McGiboney School, Oak Mountain School, and Tallapoosa School, all elementary schools designated as Laboratory Schools associated with the West Georgia College Rural Teacher Training Education Program.


Arranged in three series: I. Sand Hill School, II. Other Laboratory Schools, III. Rural Teacher Training

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred to Special Collections at an unknown date prior to 2012.


Photographs and other materials pertaining to laboratory schools can also be found in the Collus O. Johnson papers, MS-0020. See also collections relating to Oak Mountain School.

Guide to the West Georgia College Teacher Training Program and Laboratory Schools Collection
Avery Stanley
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of West Georgia Special Collections Repository

Special Collections, Ingram Library
University of West Georgia
1601 Maple Street
Carrollton GA 30118-2000 United States