70.6.18 | Slate and pencil

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Slate and pencil
About 1920, 20th century
32.4 x 26.5 cm
Gift of Frère Arsène Morin, c.s.c.
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
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Keys to History

The schoolmistress taught all the grades. If she was fortunate, the older pupils were able to help her with the youngest ones. She was entirely responsible for all the classes and had to follow the official school syllabus. The school day of a century and a half ago was divided up much as it is today: a mid-morning recess, an hour for lunch and another recess in the afternoon.

Disillusioned by poor working conditions like low salaries, inadequate teaching materials and absenteeism, many young schoolmistresses left the schools they had been assigned to. They often asked to be transferred, which upset the continuity of the teaching in the schools concerned.

  • What

    Slate-pencils were used to write on a slate, which was wiped clean with a damp cloth.

  • Where

    At the start of the school year parents went to the general store to buy slates for the children to take to school.

  • When

    In Acadia slates were used for schoolwork from the mid-19th century until the early 20th century.

  • Who

    In the schoolroom the boys and girls wrote on slates.