1 9 5 8 – 1 9 6 4 (USA)
Produced by NBC in cooperation with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Continental Classroom was designed as a national teaching tool to allow viewers to learn at home.
NBC claimed that diligent students could actually earn college credit for watching the show by following along with a specially prepared pamphlet that included questions and prompts.
Airing at 6.00 or 6.30 am on weekdays, the first classes were presented by Dr Harvey E. White (on leave as vice chairman of the physics department at the University of California at Berkeley), teaching basic physics.
Over the next five years Continental Classroom taught students physics, chemistry, algebra, and statistics. Approximately 300 universities had teachers participate in the series, which at one point aired on 172 stations, including some ABC, CBS, and public television affiliates.
San Quentin Penitentiary even recognised the value of the show and broadcast the series to its inmates.
Twice a week, classes on the show were designed to inform teachers how to instruct in such areas as statistics or chemistry, with one subject being taught per semester.
But the similar and competing Sunrise Semester on CBS fared much better, at least in terms of participation, so after a little more than six years, Continental Classroom declared that school was out. In its last season (1963 – 1964), the show was retitled Education Exchange.