17 SES 03 B, Educating 'The Other'
In recent years historians have been interrogating twentieth century women teachers’ work in a variety of countries and using diverse primary sources. For example, Depaepe, Lauwers and Simon (2006) have discussed the feminisation of teaching in Belgium. History is Hers (Coulter and Harper 2005) is based on interviews with Canadian women teachers and Cunningham and Gardner’s (2004) study of British teachers draws on teachers’ recollections as well as official documents. There are also some studies of teachers who travelled abroad to work for varying periods of time. They include ‘exchange teachers’ who were sponsored by the League of Empire (Whitehead 2014) and British teachers who were recruited to Canada when there was a shortage of teachers in the 1920s (Barber 2005). While historians have addressed women teachers’ work through the prism of gender, less attention has been paid to teachers’ national identities.
This paper focuses on three British women teachers who travelled overseas to work in Germany, South Africa and the Gold Coast (Ghana) after World War Two. Paying particular attention to their national identities, I ask ‘how did women represent their work as progressive teachers in Germany, South Africa and the Gold Coast?’ and ‘What ideas about foreign lands and people were they communicating to people at home in England?’
M. Barber, ‘Nation-Building in Saskatchewan: Teachers from the British Isles in Saskatchewan Rural Schools in the 1920s’, in P. Buckner and R. Francis (eds), Canada and the British World: Culture, Migration and Identity (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2006), 215-233. R. Coulter and H. Harper, eds. History is Hers: Women Educators in Twentieth Century Ontario (Calgary: Detselig, 2005). P. Cunningham and P. Gardner, Becoming Teachers: Texts and Testimonies 1907-1950 (London: Woburn Press 2004). M. Depaepe, H. Lauwers and F. Simon, ‘The Feminisation of the Teaching Profession in Belgium and the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries’ in R. Cortina and S. San Roman, eds, Women and Teaching: Global Perspectives on the Feminisation of a Profession (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006). S. Hall, ‘Introduction: Who Needs Identity?’ in S. Hall and P. du Gay, eds. Questions of Cultural Identity (London: Sage, 1996). K. Weiler, ‘Reflections on Writing a History of Women Teachers’, Harvard Educational Review 67/4 (1997). K. Whitehead, ‘Exchange Teachers as “Another Link in Binding the [British] Empire” in the Interwar Years’, Historia Social y de la Educacion / Social and Education History 3/1 (2014), 1-24.
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