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For the Common GoodA New History of Higher Education in America$
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Charles Dorn

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452345

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452345.001.0001

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“The Instruction Necessary to the Practical Duties of the Profession”

“The Instruction Necessary to the Practical Duties of the Profession”

Teacher Education in the West

(p.92) 5 “The Instruction Necessary to the Practical Duties of the Profession”
For the Common Good

Charles Dorn

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores California State Normal School, California's first publicly supported higher-education institution. Dedicated to teacher education, normal schools were initially established in the United States during the antebellum period and flourished in the decades following the Civil War. Providing women, especially, access to higher education at a time when most colleges and universities refused to admit them, normal schools manifested a commitment to the public good by welcoming poor students and offering them training to become public-school teachers. Over time, these institutions became a crucial segment of American higher education. They also underwent dramatic transformation. Unbeknownst to many of their current students, hundreds of well-known colleges and universities began as normal schools, with scores having been the first centers of higher learning in their states to receive public support.

Keywords:   California State Normal School, teacher education, normal schools, public good, public-school teachers, American higher education

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