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Farm School records (University of California, Irvine)
AS.204  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection comprises the records of the University of California, Irvine Farm School, which provided an alternative education to children ages 5 to 12 years old between 1969 and 2007. The collection includes administrative records of the Farm School between 1976 and 2007, as well as documentation of events, such as reunions and science fairs, and photographs.
Background
The Farm School at the University of California, Irvine was an experimental elementary school established in 1969, which provided alternative education to children 5 to 12 years old. It was co-founded by UC Irvine professor Michael Butler along with other faculty who had become disenchanted with public education. Inhabiting three remodeled farmhouses that were originally part of the Irvine Ranch, the Farm School took around 50 students per year and provided a non-traditional ungraded learning environment that incorporated their rural surroundings. In Butler's own words, they "wanted a school where children would learn to do what finders and makers do, not just master more or less badly and mechanically, some scattered things they have worked out." Besides serving the community as a school, the Farm School also served the School of Social Sciences as an instructional and research site. The Farm School was part of the original progressive mission of UC Irvine, but its future was not written into a comprehensive plan for the campus' growing population. In 2007, the school was forced to close its doors due to several factors, including a lawsuit brought on by one of its longest standing teachers, Karen Minns, and the Anteater Recreation Center development.
Extent
3 Linear Feet (1 record carton and 4 document boxes)
Restrictions
Property rights reside with the University of California. Copyrights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please contact the University Archivist.
Availability
The collection is open for research. Access to digital media is restricted; researchers may request viewing copies.