Here is a great article on the History of Sunday School. It was written by Dr. Keith Drury (Professor at Indiana Wesleyan University) and his students. It provides a brief history of how Sunday School got started and then asks, in typical Drury fashion some thought-provoking questions.
Here is how he concludes the article:
The question we’re asking…
We ask, “What would it be like if the church got a burden again like Robert Raikes?” What if we cared for the poor and illiterate and tried to educate them again—out of our own pockets? Is it time for the old Sunday school movement to become the new one? Will we keep the narrow focus of Sunday school to baby sitting our own kids and teaching them a few songs and stories until we’re ready to go home ourselves? Or could we reinvent the Sunday school by returning to its roots—offering literacy and moral education to the poor—for free? Do Christians care enough to do that?