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Usually this would consist of the classroom teacher writing on the chalkboard and the children copying this down. Teaching lacked creativity and it was a strict, uncomfortable place for children to begin their life education. In Victorian schools there were more female teachers than male ones with women occupying the majority of teaching roles. These women were often very strict and scary. The reason teaching consisted of mostly ladies was due to the pay scale. The salaries were poor and men could be earning more money elsewhere so this was left to the women.
The rationale behind it been mostly unmarried women was that once married the women was expected to take care of the family. The large majority of teachers did not have a college education. The role of teaching was something they picked up while on the job and every new lesson would be a challenge for them too. The Victorian teaching system was much different to the one we have today.
Discipline was huge in the Victorian times and this was no different in schools. Boys were typically caned on their backsides whereas Girls would take the punishment on their legs or hands. The reasons ranged from truancy right through to laziness in the classroom. The punishments were usually harsh and painful for children aged jus between Children who were slower than the rest within lessons were made to wear the shameful dunce hats and sit in the corner for over an hour.
This was not only humiliating for the child but also not helping them get up to speed with the rest of the class. At the time there was no concept of children with learning difficulties and the uneducated classroom teachers would assume it was purely down to the laziness or lack of effort. Amazingly children were reprimanded for using their left hand to write!
This was seen as a punishable offence and they were made write with their right hand! The intiial three were seen as the most important areas of education at the time and a vast majority of school time involved the learning of these. The lessons were very different to lessons of today and usually involved copying down what the teacher wrote on the chalkboard. Furthermore children were expected to chant things out loud until they did so without mistakes.
The times tables were commonly done in this way and children were expected to do this without any mistakes. The importance of developing a fine hand in writing was high and alongside numbers this was seen as a crucial part of education. The school days in Victorian times were structured slightly different to those of today with the morning introduction session consisting of prayers and religious instructions. This was commonly followed by morning lessons running from 9am until 12pm. Following this was a lunch period when children usually went home.
Similar to fathers who went home from work within the Victorian period the children would do the same.
Afternoon classes began at approximately 2pm and finished at 5pm. The school day in Victorian times was in the mould of the modern day pm. Children of a very young age were expected to maintain their best attention at all times and adhere to the rules of the school. Unlike today school equipment was very different in Victorian times.