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.
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
3 Linear Feet
(1 records carton and 4 document boxes)
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.
The collection is open for research. The collection contains digital materials. It is minimally processed, but is open for
research. Please contact the Department of Special Collections and Archives in advance to request access.