Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Sons of Bridgewater
by Massella, Regina A., Ph.D., Notre Dame of Maryland University, 2013, 325; 3602476
Abstract (Summary)

Effective teacher training and preparation is widely recognized as key in raising student achievement. This historical study examined the influence of the normal school movement, one of the first concrete approaches to the preparation and training of public school teachers in the nineteenth century in the United States. Specifically, this study investigated the influence of the vision of teaching and learning of Nicholas Tillinghast, the first principal of Bridgewater State Normal School between 1840 and 1853, and of the “sons of Bridgewater,” the students of Tillinghast who became normal school principals across the United States. Primary source and archived documents such as personal correspondence, diaries, conference records, and newsletters, and photographs were used to conduct this study. As a result of this study, normal schools, which were regionally impacted as they were established across the United States, emerged as an unrecognized, yet significant factor in the evolution of teacher training programs. The work of Nicholas Tillinghast and the sons of Bridgewater during the nineteenth century made a significant impact on the spread and evolution of the normal school movement and played an important role in the professionalization of teaching.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Spratt, Evelyn Kassouf
Commitee: Moore, Andrew P., Sarther, Catherine
School: Notre Dame of Maryland University
Department: Department of Education
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 75/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration, Education history, Teacher education
Keywords: Bridgewater State Normal School, History of teacher education, Massachusetts, Normal school principals, Normal schools, Teacher preparation, Tillinghast, Nicholas
Publication Number: 3602476
ISBN: 9781303549007
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