VIEW-8297 | Normal School, Truro, NS, probably 1915

Normal School, Truro, NS, probably 1915
Wm. Notman & Son
Probably 1915, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
10 x 12 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , educational (709) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

The most popular choice for post-secondary education for young women in the Maritimes was teacher training at "Normal Schools" because the tuition was often subsidized by either the provincial government or local school boards, which were continually confronted with teacher shortages. Nova Scotia began to allow women to teach in public schools in 1838, and by the 1870s two-thirds of the province's teachers were women. Their careers tended to be short, however, as they were not permitted to teach after they married. In 1877, one school inspector reported that "Cupid's intrigues have carried off seven of our female teachers."

Janet Guildford, "'Separate Spheres:' The Feminization of Public School Teaching in Nova Scotia, 1838-1880," in Janet Guildford and Suzanne Morton, eds., Separate Spheres: Women's Worlds in the 19th-Century Maritimes (Fredericton Acadiensis Press, 1994), 119-144.

  • What

    Normal Schools were teacher-training colleges.

  • Where

    The Nova Scotia Normal School was built in Truro rather than Halifax because educational authorities believed that a small town offered a more morally uplifting environment than a city.

  • When

    The Nova Scotia Normal School opened in November 1855.

  • Who

    Alexander Forrester (1805-1869), a Presbyterian minister, was the first principal of the Nova Scotia Normal School.