Bloomsburg, PA: c. 1888. Manuscript notebook composed by Ida Sylva Wagner, a young woman training to become a teacher at the Bloomsburg State Normal School (now Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania) between 1888-1889. Comprised of 88 pages in ink and pencil, blending lecture and reading notes with what appear to be Ida’s own drafts of analytic essays, practice lesson plans, and examination questions. Quarter cloth over marbled boards, measuring 5.5 x 8.5 inches. Shelf-wear to extremities and hinges tender but holding. Text block overall tight, with mild toning not affecting text. Wagner's ownership signature and school information on front paste-down; second ownership signature along with Wagner's later teaching location on rear paste-down. In Very Good+ condition overall considering its daily class use and apparent usage as a reference guide during Ida’s later teaching career.
Established in 1869, the Bloomsburg State Normal School aimed to provide rigorous teacher training to ensure that regional educators could “teach the youth elements of classical education” (Bloomsburg University). State census records show that she would have been 22 at the time of this class, and that she later moved to Luzerne County to work as a teacher after graduation. This notebook rigorously documents her work in an advanced Practical Teaching course, which provided pedagogical methodology as well as requiring students to put methods into practice by designing usable teaching materials. Ida’s notebook is roughly divided into sections, with blanks separating each; and they include practical notes including Introductory Consideration, Foundations and Principles, Length of Recitation, Object Lessons, and Plan of Lessons as well as sample content for lessons such as Primary Reading, Primary Numbers, and Rules of Grammar. In her hand, Ida reflects on the importance of theory and practice, noting “The powers of the child which demand the teacher’s attention are the physical, the intellectual, the moral, and the spiritual…before knowing can take place, there must be something to know, and the thing to be known must affect its appropriate sense.” This guiding principle clearly shapes the class, and Ida’s notes show that she is being trained in the “something to know” (for example, the 15 pages of vocabulary, pronunciations, and definitions) as well as the “affecting its appropriate sense” (for example, the 46 initial pages on methods for shaping appropriate lessons).
A dense resource with research possibilities including but not limited to the fields of history of pedagogy, history of American higher education, women’s education and employment, and gender studies. Very Good + (Item #2180)