[ Victorian teacher-training (at Manchester Grammar School? See notes below) ] Manuscript volume of detailed lesson plans, composed by a teacher or 'pupil teacher' for use in a mixed 'board school'.

Victorian 'Board School' education [ Nineteenth-century teaching ] [ teacher-training by 'pupil teachers' at Manchester Grammar School? ]
Publication details: 
Place not stated (Manchester Grammar School?). Latter entries dated between 18 July 1875 and 30 September 1881.
SKU: 19916

The following quotation from the British Library places the present item in context: 'The Factory Act of 1833, had imposed a duty on employers to provide half-time education for employees under 13. In practice, the Act was easily ignored. The break-through came in 1870. Elected school boards could levy a local rate to build new schools providing education up to the age of 10. In 1880 the provision of elementary schooling for both sexes was made compulsory, and the age raised to 13. By 1874 5,000 ‘Board Schools’ were running. Another change in the law enabled grammar schools for girls to be founded and funded. By 1898, 90 such schools had been founded.' The item is 204pp., 4to. In ruled exercise book, quarter-bound with maroon leather spine and marbled boards. Internally in good condition, in aged and worn binding. Consisting of a series of lesson plans, neatly written with only a few emendations in pencil, each lesson worked out over several pages in Gradgrindian detail. The first two-thirds of the volume constitute a course in 'Physical Geography', with lessons on such topics as 'Land & Sea Breezes', 'Earthquakes', 'Monsoons', 'Climate', 'Vegetable Life' and 'Cyclones'. Each of these lessons is subdivided into headed sections. In the last third of the volume the format changes. The scope of the lessons broadens (for example 'Square Measure (Papering of Walls)', 'The Difference between Trades & Professions', 'Addition of Vulgar Fractions (explained)' and grammatical 'Notes of a Lesson for Standard IV'), and the lessons start to be dated, the author beginning each one with the 'Chief Point' he wishes to convey, and an 'Introduction'. Some of the lessons in the latter third of the volume have phrases in a small hand at the head of the first page: 'Junior Girls | or | Upper Infants', 'Girls C. I', 'M. Lund (Inf.)', 'E. Cunliffe', 'A. Wright', 'M. M Johnson', 'M Blackburn'. (The surnames Lund, Cunliffe, Wright, Johnson and Blackburn all feature in 'Ulula', the magazine of the Manchester Grammar School, between 1878 and 1880, and it may be that they were individuals receiving the 'practical training for pupil teachers', as described in the school's history by Graham and Phythian. Whether or not that is the case, the five surnames taken together indicate that the volume originates from the north of England.) The lesson follows under the heading 'Full Notes', with 'Outline Notes' or 'Skeleton' in the margin. (The first lesson to be presented this way is headed 'Notes of a Lesson on Mount Cenis Tunnel'.) The opening paragraph of the last lesson, on 'The Pyramids of Egypt', comprising three pages dated 30 September 1881, gives a good impression of the general tone: 'The pyramids of Egypt are buildings resting on a square base, and gradually tapering to a point, each of the four sides or faces bounded by an isosceles triangle. Their total number amounts to about seventy, the most of which are situated along he Libyan ridge from below Cairo to the Fayoum district.' Another example is a five-page section on 'Land and Sea Breezes'. This consists of 'Full Notes' with 'Outline Notes' in the margin. The 'Chief Point' is 'To explain the causes of these breezes and their uses.' and the 'Introduction' states: 'I will introduce the lesson by asking the children. What is a cool refreshing wind called? (A breeze) To day you are going to hear about land and sea breezes.'