Geography notebooks of two young women pupil-teachers
[United Kingdom]: 1870 and 1865.
[United Kingdom]: 1870 and 1865. Geography notebook of Mary Barker: Quarter black roan over marbled boards measuring 9 x 7 inches. Comprised of a calligraphic title and frontis plus 59 hand drawn-and-colored maps done by a young woman in her first three years of teacher training. Throughout, Mary annotates on the margins which year and term she is in and occasionally notes that the map was drawn "From Memory"; and each map has penciled corrections and assessments.
[with] Geography notebook of Allison Jane Gillespy: Quarter cloth over marbled boards. Calligraphic title page and 35 intricately hand drawn maps from the British Empire, Europe, and the Middle East.
A pairing of beautiful and research-worthy notebooks documenting teacher training in the late nineteenth century, as well as providing a look into how geographies changed across time and how British educators were being trained to perceive and educate the young about other parts of the world and how they connected to the British empire. With nearly 100 pages combined, the notebooks offer scholars important comparative opportunities and means for better understanding the rising number of women educators and authors publishing works that engaged geography and international cultures during the Victorian era.
"The Wesleyan Methodists had a school for ministers' daughters at Trinity Hall, Southport...which admitted both boarders and day girls...to educate ministers daughters and train teachers" (Roach). Pupil teacher programs like the one Mary Barker was enrolled in had become a popular method of producing teachers at a time when the public's access to education expanded and the demand for instructors was at a high. Such programs functioned like an apprentice system, taking a senior pupil typically thirteen years old, and putting her in a five year assistantship to her own instructor. Pupil teachers typically took on responsibility for teaching lower classes, observing their superiors educate the more advanced students, and completing their own educations. By the 1870s, these programs had become standardized to ensure proper preparation for instructors (Robinson).
Mary's maps trace this process. As she moved from her first to her third year in this notebook, the quality and care she puts into her work improves. Her handwriting and attention to detail matures. And her assessments move from Fair to Good and Very Good. Maps in the notebook include nearby locales such as Ireland, Scotland, and the British Isles as a whole; European nations including Sweden, Norway, and Prussia, as well as eastern Europe and Russia. Mary also maps out "Arabia" and the "Chinese Empire" as well as "Further India," revealing a wide array of changing borders and shifting cultural attitudes.
While Allison does not leave any marker of her class, age, or school, the level of intricacy in her maps suggests she was a senior student or finished instructor. These appear to be fair copies, not done from memory, but prepared as examples for students or as teaching aids.
Together, the two provide a comparative opportunity to study the history and politics of mapping, nineteenth century girls' education, pedagogy and pedagogical training, and geography. (Item #3389)