Education Students Visit Historic Schoolhouse

Field Trip to the Vale Schoolhouse

By Elif Sigindere Omur

The Summer II EDUC 500: “Introduction to Education and Educational Research” class visited the Vale Schoolhouse on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 along with Dr. Rebecca Sachs and Dr. Jillian Wendt. Members of the Vale Club and Friends of the Vale Schoolhouse, Liz Jones and Chris Leichweis, hosted the visit and shared their expertise. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. We had the opportunity to see how education was approached in the past in Fairfax County.

Students attended the school from the surrounding Oakton, VA area from 1884-1931. The schoolhouse consisted of just two rooms—one room for primary students and one room for secondary students—with two doors for entry into the main area of the schoolhouse. One door was used for girls while the other one was for boys. During class, girls were typically seated on one side of each room while boys sat on the other. Class was started by ringing a bell, which towered over the schoolhouse and could be rung from indoors. The schoolhouse was heated by a small pot-bellied stove. Students were required to provide wood for heating the school in the cold winter months.

Elif Sigindere Omur is a first-year graduate student in the Master of Education program at VIU. More information on the Vale Schoolhouse can be found at Additional information about the School of Education can be found at

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