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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Papers of Ernest Horn
RG 99.0223
Collection Dates: 1902-1968
26 ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright: Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Acquisition and Processing Information: These papers were transferred to the University of Iowa Libraries by Mr. and Mrs. Horn in 1967 and 1968. Processed by Debra Neal in 1984 and Earl M. Rogers in May 1996. Guide posted to the Internet in 2000; updated January 2008.










Scope and Contents

The Ernest Horn Papers reflect his research and publications in geography, history, and other social science education; spelling, and vocabulary. Organizations prominently represented include the American Historical Association Commission on the Social Studies, the Canada - United States Committee on Education, the University of Iowa University Elementary School, and other schools where Horn studied or taught. Correspondents include Charles A. Beard (letters currently cataloged as Special Collections manuscripts), Madeline Darrough Horn, and University of Iowa education deans and presidents.

Biographical Note

Ernest Horn was born in Mercer County, Missouri, July 17, 1882, and died in Iowa City, November 9, 1967. His degrees were B.S., University of Missouri, 1907; M.A., 1908; Ph.D., 1914, both Columbia University; and LL.D., University of Northern Colorado, 1940. He was principal of the University Elementary School, University of Missouri, and the Speyer School, Columbia University, and also taught at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, and other schools. Horn became Professor of Education at the University of Iowa in 1915, served as the first director of the University Elementary School, and became Professor Emeritus in 1952. While in Colorado he was given the nickname “Tom,” for the Western outlaw Tom Horn. Elementary schools in Iowa City and Greeley are named for him.

Related Materials

Stein, Frances Jordan. “Ernest Horn’s Ideas on Education within the Context of the Progressive Education Movement in America.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa, 1973. It contains a bibliography of Horn’s publications, compiled by Thelma Peterson and later extended by Lloyd L. Smith.

Folder, "Horn, Ernest," in Faculty and Staff Vertical Files Collection (RG 01.15.03)

Kaufmann, S tephen Richard. “Choosing the Middle Way: Ernest Horn’s Contribution to the Commission on the Social Studies in the Schools.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa, 1983.

Records of the University Schools (RG 09.07)

Box Contents List

Box 1

American Historical Association

Investigation of the Social Studies in the Schools. Correspondence, etc.

Greenwich conference, 1924

Bibliographies on social studies books

"Supervision of the Social Studies," a bibliography

Beard’s Objectives, comments

Objectives, unused MS


I -A Beard’s Objectives, Gibbon Report

Beard’s Objectives, McMurry Report

I -B Objectives

Kelly’s Objectives

Objectives, Beard’s Charter, Phillips’ Report

I -A Objectives

Miscellaneous papers on propaganda and indoctrination

Box 2

Propaganda and Indoctrination Articles

Authors A -- L

M -- Z

AHA Committee on Tests; Committee on Content and Method of Instruction

Explanation of test programs

Report of the Committee on Examinations

Membership list of committee on tests, minutes of meetings, correspondence

Social Attitudes Tests



Articles and correspondence

Franklin Bobbitt, Austin Turney, and Ralph W. Tyler statements and articles

Wesley Test

Truman L. Kelley statement

I.H. Brinkmeier and G.M. Ruch and Milo L. Whittaker, reprints

Summaries of books on tests by Paul W. Terry, reprint

Subject Matter Circular, United States History; Description of Proposed Procedure for the Construction of Tests in the Social Studies; "Weighted Ratings of College Teachers on American Historical Association Trial List"


Report upon development and progress on test construction; Mary G. Kelty test

"Phys. and Mental in Relation to Tests of General Intelligence"

E.F. Lindquist to A.C. Krey, May 12, 1933; T.L. Kelley and A.C. Krey, “The pupil’s approach to the understanding of society”

Box 3

Committee on Content and Method of Instruction

Summary Volume

Reasons for Not Signing the Summary Volume

Dr. Robbins’ Comments on Summary Report

Dr. Horn’s substitution for Chapter VI, “Tests and Testing,” of the summary report and anonymous comments on that chapter

AHA 1937 book, Methods of Instruction in the Social Studies, by Ernest Horn

Chapter 2, "The Identification and Classification of Students for the Purpose of Teaching"

Chapter 3, "What and How to Think," July 6, 1936. Draft

Chapter 5, "Reading in Relation to Learning in the Social Studies"

Chapter 7, "The Use of Imaginative Literature"

Chapter 8, "Oral Instruction"

Chapter 9, "Visual Aids"

Chapter 10, "Sources of Concrete Experience"

Chapter 11, "Devices for [Stimulating] Aiding the Imagination"

References for the 1937 book

Book review of 1937 book, and an advertisement

Box 4

Committee on Art in American Life and Education

Summary of work


1936 -- 1938

1939 -- 1942

"Problems in Art Education"

Miscellaneous papers

Art Education, U.K. Ministry of Education, 1946 (1953), pamphlet no. 6

Request for Aid in Formulating The Statement of Basic Processes in Society

Letter describing organization of the file


Persons to which the pamphlet should be sent

Copies of the pamphlet

Box 5

Comments organized by paragraphs

Copy 2

General comments

Persons regretting that they were unable to reply

Summarization of replies by paragraphs

Horn-Schlesinger correspondence, May 1960

Thorndike-Lorge Word List, a basic writing vocabulary


"A Semantic Count of English Words"

A -- B

Box 6


D -- F

G -- K

L -- O

P -- R

Box 7


T -- Z

Explanation of data on selection and grade placement materials

Data on placement of words



Box 8





Box 9



I -- J

K -- L


N -- O

Box 10


Q -- R

S -- SI

SK -- SY

Box 11


U -- Z

Newspaper articles

Love letters

Letters of application and recommendation

Writings of literary men

A -- B


Box 12

D -- E

F -- H

I -- L

M -- O

P -- Q

R -- S

Box 13

T -- Z

Words from personal correspondence, totals

A -- B


D -- E

F -- H

I -- K

Box 14

L -- M

N -- O


Q -- R

S -- SN

SN -- SY

Box 15

T -- U

V -- Z

Newspapers and magazines

A -- C

D -- H

I -- O

P -- R

Box 16

S -- Z

Discrepancies between Business List and Final Books

Business letters

A -- B


D -- E

F -- H

I -- L

M -- O

Box 17

P -- R


T -- Z

Vocabulary of excuses; spelling errors found in excuses

Business letters composite

A -- L

M -- Z

Business minutes

A -- L

Box 18

M -- Z

Explanation of compilation

Final compilation of data





E -- F

Box 19

G -- H

I -- K

L -- M

N -- O


Q -- R



Box 20

U -- V

W -- Z

Basic Writing Vocabulary original draft

pp. 1 -- 75

pp. 76 -- 282

pp. 284 -- 366

Copy of draft

pages 1 -- 100

pages 101 -- 360

Robbins, first markings

Box 21

Notes and final corrections

Final corrections

Related material

A Basic Writing Vocabulary, Ernest Horn’s office copy, annotated

Comparing the Thorndike-Lorge list

Thorndike frequencies

Canada-United States Committee on Education

Introduction to the file

History of the committee, summary of work

Box 22

Memoranda and correspondence

Minutes of the executive committee

Minutes, conferences, news bulletins



Miscellaneous material, including related publications

Government of Canada, reprints

Summary of work

Education for Mutual Understanding and Friendship Between Canada and the United States

Study of history textbooks


Box 23


School broadcasts

George W. Brown study

Geography study

A.H. Goodman study

Study on student exchanges

Canada and the United States, leaflet

Testing Knowledge of students

Children’s encyclopedias

Dennis Wrong study

Paper and pulp industry


Appointments and salary statements, 1909 -- 1967

Letters which might be of interest, 1909 -- 1968

Personal on Horn’s departure for Columbia University, 1930

Bowen, Howard R., 1965 -- 1966

Horn, Madeline Darrough, 1911 -- 1968

Jessup, Walter A., 1913 -- 1944

Box 24

Jones, Howard R., 1964 -- 1966

Packer, Paul C., 1923 -- 1941

Peterson, E.T., 1950 -- 1961

Piper, Janet Pressley, 1946 -- 1961

Russell, William F., 1917 -- 1923 (missing)

Curriculum and course of study of general or unknown school

“The Construction and Administration of the Course of Study,” class notes and readings, 1924, 1927

Manuscripts notes on "what to teach"

Course of study, 2 folders


ca. 1914

Miscellaneous notes

In language

General suggestions for the reconstruction of the syllabus of the course of study

Course of study and curriculum planning

Introduction to the Condition and Method of the Experiment, Chapter 3, University of Missouri

Speech about the scientific construction of the curriculum

Theory of social utility; Problems for Experimentation; report on the need for instructional material; theories and practices in elementary education; P.C. Packer letter, 1940

Teaching of formal material

Public Elementary School Curricula, revised

Improving study habits, a supervised study; suggestions for taking notes



Word forms and Walker’s Dictionarie of English and Latine Idiomes

From an Alvearie or Quadruple Dictionarie, 1582, To the Reader

Geography outline for studying

Notes and outlines for geography texts

Box 25

Readings for Geography series

"Talk to Pan American Association," February 3, 1994

Handwriting foundation


Memos, minutes, newsletters, reports

Publications of Emma H. Burrus

"Questions for Research on Handwriting," by Horn, reprinted from The Elementary School Journal

History education

Course of study in history

Modern Problems Survey, "Making the Course of Study in History"

Course of study, "Greek life"


United States

Clocks, fire, etc.

"The Noble at War"

"The Effect of the War of 1812 on American National Feeling"

World War I

Historical references

New York Times history knowledge

Benjamin Franklin

Fredrika Bremer

Account of the Age of a Man Who Attained the Age of 169 Years

Box 26


1906 -- 1914





1919 -- 1920



Box 27

1923 -- 1926

1927 -- 1929

1930 -- 1939

1940 -- 1963

Moral and character education

Iowa Plan of Character Education Methods, 1922

Moral and civic education

The Home and the Community in Character Education; situations involving other peoples’ property; case-studies in developing social attitudes

The Need for Moral and Civic Education; Moral and Civic Education program and notes

Lesson in Citizenship by Thera Brown; Character Education Discussion Conference; Moral Codes; Good Deeds; and review

Character Education

Moral teaching through history

Trespass lesson taught by Clyde Thompson

Box 28

Music, ballads, poems, sayings, quotes, slang, jokes

Music Study Club; The Song in English Literature

On the Harmony and Melody of the Old Scotch Tunes

Singing in the Home

Singing games

Songs Dr. Horn liked

Tune for Parsing; Tune for Capitals Mother Horn


Musical ballads

Musical ballads, poems, sayings

Collection of poems

Quotes from books and verses

Quotes from readings

Regularities and Philologicals, etc.

Slang, folk terms


Newspaper clippings

1900 -- 1910s






Not dated

Box 29

Newspaper clippings about Ernest Horn

Ernest Horn recognitions

American Association of School Administrators, Atlantic City Dinner and Reunion Honoring Ernest Horn, February 15, 1953

Atlantic City dinner guest book

Certificates, diplomas, awards

Portrait presentation book, December 5 -- 6, 1957; correspondence on Horn portrait; funds

Ernest Horn Elementary School, Colorado State College of Education

Ernest Horn Elementary School, Iowa City, Iowa

Box 30


Colorado State, 1911 -- 1921, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley

Brooklyn, New York

Indiana University, curriculum, schedules, announcements, 1913

History of Education, 1913

Speyer School at Columbia University, practice teaching, ca. 1913

Curriculum, ca. 1914

Geography, 1914

Oral English

Columbia University, directory, 1914 -- 1915

Course of study and curriculum, ca. 1915

Columbia University [?], summary of First Half of Education 2, February 1915

Course notes for Education S32, Summer 1915

St. Paul, Minnesota, public schools, course notes and manuscripts, ca. 1916 -- 1917

Survey and directory, ca. 1916 -- 1917, and school bulletin, December 1922 and April 1928

Scarborough School, New York, ca. 1917 -- 1918


New York University, 1918


Box 31


10,000 most commonly used words in writing, List I

Counts in each frequency group of the 10,000 most commonly used words

Dolch, E.W., Tested Word Knowledge vs. Frequency Counts

First 5,000 words in Commonwealth Study arranged in alphabetical order

Misspelling study

Notes on letters of the alphabet

Baconian lectures, Spelling and Reading

Co-operative experiments in spelling

Phonics in relation to spelling

Manuscript on the teaching of spelling

National spelling bee


Related publications

Related material

Simplified Spelling Board

Simplified Spelling Society

Spelling Reform

Banquet of Chicago school principals

A letter to Dr. H.H. Seerley, by E.O. Vaile, 1910

Progress and Reform

Box 32

Simplified Spelling

Spelling Reform, N.W. Tune

Systematized spelling

Fonetic English Spelling, booklet

Comparison of “A” Words in the 10,000 List Which Are Not in Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary

“A’s”, earliest dates

“A” word list, dates and last changes

“A’s”, taking 5,000 list and checking against Webster’s 1806 dictionary

Word origination and changes in spelling and meaning

“R’s”, earliest date after which there is no change, etc.

Age of “R” words

Words which occur in Lord Chesterfield’s letters, but not in 10,000 list, and Word list from Cooper’s Thesaurus Lingvae, 1578

Word list tallying which dictionaries have listed words

Words not in 1847 edition of Webster’s Dictionary

Changes according to Craigie’s Dictionary

Change and permanence in the vocabulary of writing

Change and permanence in language, writing and spelling


Ernest Horn thesis, "An experiment in the seventh grade of the teachers college elementary school, University of Missouri, in an attempt to find a principle which would remedy some of the defects of the present elementary school curriculum," Final draft, original, 1908

Box 33

"An experiment in the seventh grade...," original draft with markings

Copy draft with markings

Partial draft, original and copy

Madeline Darrough Horn thesis, "An investigation of the vocabulary of kindergarten children," final draft, copy, 1927

University Elementary School, University of Iowa: Beginnings of U.E.S. and Course and Curriculum Outlines (which don’t have a grade number or involve more than one grade )

Organization of the Elementary School; Fall Announcements, 1927 and 1928; New Appointments in Education

University Elementary School, 1919; song; notes




Pierce, Bessie L., Australia

Geography papers on Latin America

Hilliard Study of Status of Geography, 1915

Geography suggestions, criticisms, observations, reports by student teachers in Dr. Horn’s Elementary Supervision, ca. May 1920

History, biographies

Iowa history and Native American Indian history

History of medicine

Outline of Course of Study in Social Studies, 1917 -- [18?]

Courses of study, 1920 -- 1921

Stenographic reports on lessons, 1929 -- 1930

Smith’s Seminary, 1958, on Early Organization of Curriculum in Social Studies

Box 34

University Elementary School, University of Iowa, grades 2 -- 7, school subjects

"Outline of Work Done," 1918 -- 1919, grade 2

Geography, grade 2, Industrial Social Life


"Outline of Work Done," 1918 -- 1919, grade 3

Geography, grade 3

History, grade 3

Pioneer history, grade 3, "How  we are clothed"


"Outline of Work Done," 1918 -- 1919, grade 4

Arithmetic, grade 4

Geography, grade 4

Grade 4, Happy Birthday Dr. Horn

"Outline of Work Done," 1918 -- 1919, grade 5

Geography, grade 5, three folders

History, grade 5

Literature, grade 5

Programs, grade 5, Minuet, etc.

Social Studies, grade 5

"Outline of Work Done," 1918 -- 1919, grade 6

Geography, grade 6, three folders

History, grade 6

Reading and Meaning, retention experiment, grade 6

Geography, grade 7

Box 35


American Association for the Advancement of Science roster

Conservation and Development of Human Resources

Association for the Advancement of Progressive Education, 1919

Department of Public Instruction, proposals

National Society for the Study of Education, 1926

Elementary education, experimental schools, teacher training, University of Iowa

School papers by Horn when he was a student studying education, 1907

Purpose of education (aim)

Functions of an experimental school

Utilization of public schools for practice teaching

Teacher training at the University of Iowa

Supervision of student teaching, 1951; Undergraduate Training in Elementary Education; Letter to E.T. Peterson on the future of elementary education at the U of I

Supervision of Instruction, summer session 1916; Seminary in the Elementary Curriculum

Lesson Plans, 1941 -- 1949; Advanced Elementary Education

"Project-problem Instruction" by H.G. Lull, in School and Home Education, December 1918

"A Prospectus for a Report on Aids to Learning," May 1946; "Basic Knowledges and Abilities Essential to the Efficient Use of Books," November 1941

School Subjects and Notes

Critical Reading: an introduction, by E. Elona Sochor et .al., 1959; Thoughts of Leaders in Business Education, 1934; A Course of Study in Grammar, by W.W. Charters, 1915

General statement on teaching language

Bachmann, Helen M., "A semantic study of the books of two authors dealing with classical antiquity"

Bibliography on composition; Magazine article on composition, 1913

Horticulture notes



The School Journey

Society and Man

Dewey, early reaction to


Labor and Leisure time

Motive, need, interest

The original nature of man, by Thorndike

"Social achievement in the United States"

"Strictly off the cuff: suggestions for patterns in the social studies"

Speeches, Lectures, Seminars, etc.

Dr. Horn’s Seminar, 1923

Speech before 1929 history conference

"The School and the Individual," address, 1935

"Problem of Interest," seminar, 1938

Outlines of speeches given in Philadelphia, Pa., April 1948

Foreign Interests

European trip; interest in England

British publications


Box 36

Manuscripts and/or materials of published works referred to in bibliography

"The Application of Scientific Method to Making the Course of Study in Civics," 1918

Learn to Study Readers, 1924

Course of Study in Indian Life, 1926

"Childish and Permanent Values," 1927

"Teaching a Lesson in Moral Education," 1927

"Freedom and Responsibility," 1930, also includes a speech by Boyd H. Bode

Another Chapter on Tests for the Volume of “Conclusions and Recommendations”, 1935

The Horn Series: Progress in Reading, 1940

"Courses Other Than Art, Education, and Art Education" for the Prospective Art Teacher, 1941

"Graduate Work for the Art Teacher," 1941

"Inequalities in Opportunities for Art Development," 1941

"Understanding Education in Theory and Practice," 1941

"Language and Meaning," 1942

How to Appraise Classroom Achievement, 1953

Poetry for Primary Children, 1961

"Fifty Years of Constructive Change in Elementary Education," 1963


1914 -- 1917



Box 37

1920 -- 1922


1924 -- 1925



1928 -- 1929


1931 -- 1939

Box 38

1940 -- 1941


1943 -- 1948

1954 -- 1957

1961 -- 1967