Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning


This study uses archival sources and oral interviews to construct a history of the kindergarten and first grade programs at the Minot State University Laboratory School (MSU) from 1966 – 1990. The length of the study is based on the time the kindergarten was in existence at the MSU Laboratory School. The school was unique in North Dakota because it was the last laboratory in the state. A variety of educational methodologies and techniques were developed in an effort to improve instruction. The school also developed and refined an individualized instruction program that was used with all children enrolled in the school.

The methodologies of archival research and oral interviews give insight into how the programs functioned as well what philosophy was behind the procedures. This study also examined the relationships between what was being done at the school and what was considered developmentally appropriate practice as described by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). This second purpose of the study compares and contrasts the components the NAEYC position statement with major elements of the school and the principles of individualized instruction. The final discussion centers on this data and describes how the school functioned in a way that was consistent with developmentally appropriate practices. The findings demonstrate that the practices of the school were developmentally appropriate and are consistent with best practices. The elements of the MSU Laboratory School and the principles of individualized instruction are also consistent with developmentally appropriate practices.

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