|Helen Parkhurst caught the spirit of change and created the Dalton Plan. Aiming to achieve a balance between each child's talents and the needs of the growing American community, Helen Parkhurst created an educational concept that captured the progressive spirit of the age. Specifically, she had these objectives: to tailor each student's program to his or her needs, interests and abilities; to promote both independence and dependability; to enhance the student's social skills and sense of responsibility toward others.
She published Education on the Dalton Plan in 1922. In 1919 she founded what was first called the Children's University School which later became the Dalton School. In the original building on West 72nd Street Edgar began his education.
This environment fostered and helped lay the foundation for a spirit of inquiry that lasted all of Edgar's life. Edgar often used to speak of Miss Parkhurst and Mrs. W. Murray Crane. When David first knew Edgar in the 1960's he was fascinated to learn from his cousin, John Haden Badley that Miss Parkhurst had visited him in those formative years of Dalton to study his 'preposterous experiment' with Bedales which was the first fully coeducational boarding school in England.