21 April 2010

What is a Normal school?


These guys look a little older than your average high school graduate. I'll bet they shot their free throws underhand too.

I remember Miss Garbisch, my first through third grade teacher at Hustisford Elementary School had graduated, as I recall, from Dodge County Normal School, which I thought was in Mayville Wisconsin. But most schools turning out teachers were changing their names to Teachers Colleges,  in the 20s and 30s, and then later the Teachers was dropped and eventually almost all tertiary schools became universities, even if they didn't have medical or law schools.

The word 'normal' came from the notion of teaching high school graduates what were the standards or norms expected of elementary and high school teachers and students in those days, usually the latter part of the 19th century until maybe the middle of the 20th century. As usual Wikipedia has some useful information on these schools. Maybe we need to go back to the idea of a standard or norm.

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