Northwestern education students visit McKeever School

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Northwestern education students visit McKeever School

Education students at McKeever School

Members of Northwestern’s Introduction to Education class on the Alva campus visit the McKeever School for the day.  The student’s pictured are (from left) Angela Hasenbank, Danea Heckman, Matt Cowart, Aaron Ford, Jaclyn Andres, Samy Mack, Elizabeth Shiever, Kris Foster, Jordan Evans, Luis Chavez, Ashley Murray, Morgan Woodruff, Nikki Gates and Joanna Ruback.  Not pictured:  Venus Cain, Ali Harbin, Sarah Smart, Caitlin Thorpe and Connie Jacobs.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University Education Department instructor Connie Jacobs gave new meaning to “old school” by teaching members of her Introduction to Education class recently in the one-room McKeever School located on the Alva campus.

The class members have been learning about the history of American public school education, and on Oct. 6 the class made a real life connection. 

The students compared and contrasted teaching in an 1800’s Oklahoma school to the type of schools where these future educators will be teaching upon graduating from Northwestern and earning their teaching certifications.  Comments included the lack of electricity, the coal heating stove, pen and ink, relatively low salaries and the need for teachers to differentiate instruction to meet diverse student needs in all subject areas.

The class discussion continued with the connection of the Oklahoma Land Run supplying a growing population that created a need for local schools with trained teachers. This rapid population growth was the original foundation for the establishment of Northwestern with the Northwestern Territorial Normal School (1897), Northwestern State Normal School (1907), Northwestern State Teachers College (1919), Northwestern State College (1939), and finally in 1974 Northwestern Oklahoma State University.

The students learned that beginning teachers at the time of the McKeever School opening earned salaries of $20-$25 per month compared to beginning Oklahoma teachers now who receive $2,600 per month.

As the students look to the future of education, they agreed that rapid technology development will continue to change education as currently known. Flexibility and adaptability will be a key to long-term career success of these future educators.