The Dalton educational concept was created by the American educator Helen Parkhurst (1886-1973). Parkhurst first came into contact with primary education when she was teaching as the sole instructor in a rural primary school in Wisconsin, where she had to give lessons to different classes simultaneously. Because of this, she was forced to invent a new educational strategy that provided pupils with autonomy and freedom of choice in learning, and which focused on cooperation and learning from peers.

She elaborated on her own ideas about education innovation in the so-called Dalton Plan, which is named after the American town of Dalton, Massachusetts, where one of the schools is located which first implemented her educational concept. The most important goal Parkhurst wanted to achieve with the creation of the Dalton Plan was to educate people to become fearless, flexible people who are not afraid to initiate new ideas.

Are you curious how this educational concept is applied in daily practice in Dutch primary schools and whether it would be suited to your own child? What are the differences between Dutch Dalton schools and Dutch traditional primary schools? You can read more about this in de Keuzegids Basisonderwijs, which you can download for free on this website.