Interior view of the Bear Creek Township School showing class in session. Brooklyn, Iowa. ca. 1893.


When Iowa's first European settlers moved into the territory we know as Iowa, they wasted no time in setting up education for their children. At first, groups of parents paid a teacher to provide basic reading, writing and arithmetic instruction. Later the state and local leaders set up public schools. Various church groups also started some early schools in Iowa. 

From Iowa's first school in the 1830s to the present day, schools have been changing. Schools are very different today than they were when your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were in school. But learning new ideas has always been important to every generation of Iowan. 

Many of Iowa's former students have made world-famous scientific discoveries or created incredible works of art. This is an invitation to explore the school system that helped them develop their ideas. Look at how Iowans learned in the past. Explore how schools have changed over time.


Learning new ideas has always been important to every generation of Iowan. Why is it important to you?

Media Artifacts

Reading Tip: Prereading
Before beginning to read, think of your reason for reading. Is it for general information? For specific facts?