“Normal Schools,” Article in The Connecticut Common School Journal
We have frequently been surprised at the singular and erroneous views which have prevailed in the community in relation to Normal schools. Their existence, their object, the result of their establishment seem either to be strangely misunderstood or maliciously perverted. We often hear them spoken of as ” experiments ” and one of the Representatives to our General Assembly in the year AD 1856 gravely remarked to another member of the same body that the ” experiment of a Norman school had been tried only in Connecticut and that here it had proved a perfect failure.” Where this wiseacre was born, whence he came and whither he went, we know not. One thing we do know and that is that he knew less than he supposed. We often hear persons speaking against Normal schools, and condemning, in unmeasured terms, all their operations, but we have, almost invariably ascertained that these bitter opponents were men whose greatest sin was that of ignorance, – but whether of a nature to ” be winked at ” we care not to say. In nine cases out of ten they are men who never entered a Normal school and who have no true knowledge of the design of such an institution and know nothing of its practical operations or of its results. There is, however, another class of persons, and quite a large one, who are always ready to cooperate in any good work as soon as it is fairly commended to their understanding. With the hope of imparting some light to this class, – but with no hope of affecting the “incorrigibly guilty,” who are willfully blind, we propose to answer a few questions relating to Normal schools.
The Connecticut Common School Journal. 1857. “Normal Schools,” Article in The Connecticut Common School Journal. Article.