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Title: An historical investigation of girls' educational experience in a village school, 1863-1969
Author: Cross, Frances Barbara
ISNI:       0000 0001 3397 7633
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2002
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This research covers the period 1865-1969, a time period during which many changes in education and society occur. The research uses a combination of archive and oral history data to investigate girls' education at a village school. The school, St. Peter's Girl's School Ruddington Nottinghamshire educated mainly working class girls from the village, surrounding farms and nearby villages. The questions to be answered by this research are: what was the educational experience of the girls attending St. Peter's School Ruddington during the period 1865-1969; how was the curriculum influenced by the government of the day and the expectations of society; and did this education equip the girls for employment and their future lives? The influence of authority, in the form of government, local authority decisions and Her Majesty's Inspectors, on this school is discussed. The thesis contains four chapters of analysed data. The Girls Speak is a section where the major input is from the oral history data. This covers the period 1916-1969, whereas the other chapters cover the whole time period 1863-1969. The ladies, former pupils of the school, tell their own story and experiences of school. The ladies also discuss their feelings about their education and the benefits they accrued. The Ladder of Opportunity demonstrates and critically evaluates the progression of the girls of St. Peter's into the teaching profession during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The various routes into teacher training during this time period are discussed. In addition, other employment options are discussed. Exploitation of Opportunities considers the restrictions and demands on the teaching staff of the school within the Code and Grant system of the nineteenth century. This section also discusses the changes imposed and the developments in the school curriculum during the period. Who Pays the Piper Calls the Tune draws together evidence to demonstrate the effect of outside influences on the schools activities. These include those of authority and also events such as the First World War. The events of the Second World War are discussed by the ladies in their own chapter. The research is supported by a literature review, which investigates research already been completed in complementary areas. In addition the historical context of the period in question is supported by a literature review. These findings are evaluated in the light of the supporting literature and research. The research shows that the curriculum over the period 1863-1969 was influenced by the government of the day and the expectations of society. This was particularly evident at times of national emergency and the two World Wars in the twentieth century. The educational experience of the girls is demonstrated from the archive materials and the lively discussions of the former girls of the school. This educational experience equipped the girls for a limited but increasing range of employment throughout the period. The 'brighter' girls were attracted into teaching during the nineteenth century, since this appeared to have given them independence and a secure employment. During the twentieth century widening opportunities attracted the girls to other employment outside the village, whereas employment in the nineteenth century had been confined to the village or nearby villages.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Church of England school