ERIC Number: ED211267
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar-3
Reference Count: 0
Reading, Writing, 'Rithmetic and Recitation in Western South Dakota. Country School Legacy: Humanities on the Frontier.
As revealed in personal interviews, periodicals, published and unpublished manuscripts, and school records, the teachers were the key factor in bringing education and culture to the frontier that was western South Dakota. Many teachers were girls of 16 or 17, inexperienced, hired from states to the east (Minnesota and Iowa), sight unseen. Beginning in 1862, teachers were required to be certified by taking examinations in reading, writing, geography, grammar, spelling, and arithmetic. Supplies and equipment were limited; there was usually a blackboard, a recitation desk, desks for children, a teacher's desk and chair, maps, sometimes a globe and piano or organ, and always a water pail and dipper. School books were furnished by the pupils so there was no uniformity in textbooks. At school the teacher was janitor, superintendent, principal, playground supervisor, office girl, producer and director of programs, and organizer of community picnics and social events. Social restrictions required that teachers observe a nightly 11:00 P.M. curfew. Living conditions provided little privacy or comfort; many teachers boarded with school families, sharing rooms with one or more of their pupils. Some teachers stayed in the schoolhouse, living out of a suitcase and sleeping on a fold-up cot. (NEC)
Descriptors: Community Schools, Curriculum, Educational History, Elementary Secondary Education, One Teacher Schools, Oral History, Rural Education, Rural Schools, School Community Relationship, Small Schools, State History, Teacher Background, Teacher Qualifications, Teacher Responsibility, Teacher Role
Publication Type: Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Mountain Plains Library Association, Silt, CO. Country School Legacy Project.
Identifiers: Country School Legacy Project; South Dakota
Note: First Place, the Senior Leland D. Case Awards in Western History, Black Hills State College, Spring 1981. For related documents, see RC 013 047-058 and RC 013 070-084.