Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

Teacher Education in Texas

Summer school usually brings public school teachers back to Tarleton to pursue their graduate degrees. However, in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the only state supported institutions that offered formal teacher training programs were the University of Texas, Sam Houston, and Prairie View. “These institutions could never hope to train enough teachers to meet the increasing demand. Thus, from 1901 until 1925, seven new normal schools or teachers' colleges, located at Denton, San Marcos, Canyon, Commerce, Alpine, Nacogdoches, and Kingsville, were organized for teacher education”. Still many rural teachers were too far away and could not attend classes.

To address this issue teacher institutes were begun. “The first county teacher institute was held in 1872. County teacher institutes were organized so that all of the teachers in a school district, especially a rural one, would have opportunities to study new educational methods and improve their teaching. The institutes were usually conducted by the county superintendents. Each district, beginning in 1884, was required to hold an annual institute. Later, attendance for all teachers became mandatory. By the early 1900s the state superintendent began to issue suggested outlines of study for county teacher institutes, another move toward statewide uniformity in teacher education. The seeds of modern in-service education programs for teachers can be seen clearly in the county teacher institutes”.

Erath County held teacher institutes each summer so that more teachers in the area could further their education. The institutes were held in various school buildings over the county, including Tarleton. The photo above shows the Erath County Teacher Institute 1914 graduates.

Wow, Tarleton has certainly come a long way in teacher education since the early 1900’s!

No comments: