Journal Articles

A Modern School Plant: Rural Consolidated Schools in Mississippi, 1910-1955

By Jennifer V. Opager Baughn

In 1931, Mississippi's educational leaders looked back over the past twenty years and declared a celebration of "Twenty Years of Progress." Using the Industrial Age tools of consolidation and standardization, they had pulled rural students out of the intellectual desert that had defined country schools in the nineteenth century and established self-contained educational villages in previously isolated hamlets around the state. Central to this story and foundational to the success of the rural school program was the strict enforcement of standardized building plans, specifically the "alphabet series" forms. While the mass production of identical buildings brought skepticism or outright hostility from national architects, school officials of the time hailed the results as a crowning achievement in the progress of education for rural communities.

Baughn, Jennifer V. Opager. “A Modern School Plant: Rural Consolidated Schools in Mississippi, 1910-1955.” Buildings & Landscapes, Vol 19, No 1 (Spring 2012): 43-73.