The Newfoundland Teachers' Association 1890-1930: its founding ; and its establishment as a stable, influential, and permanent professional organization

Cuff, Harry Alfred (1971) The Newfoundland Teachers' Association 1890-1930: its founding ; and its establishment as a stable, influential, and permanent professional organization. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The Newfoundland Teachers' Association was founded in 1890 by a group of teachers who desired an association which would lay primary emphasis on teacher welfare and protection. At the same time, the Superintendents of Education were attempting to found a "Teachers' Institute" - a type of organization operating in England and Canada at the time, which would stress a program of professional development of teachers and the improvement of education in general, and which would admit to membership such people as Superintendents, Inspectors and School Board members. -- Following phenomenal success in persuading the Liberal government to establish a teachers' pension plan and to increase teachers' salaries, the infant association ceased to function shortly after its founder was given a high-paying Civil Service position. -- In the year 1898 a Superintendent of Education, with the support of a principal of a school operated by his religious denomination and in collaboration with the Colonial Secretary, revived the NTA - but with the hope that it would function as an Institute. Such an organization was rejected by the teachers, however, who refused to accept a clause in the constitution which would have extended honorary membership to people other than teachers. Shortly thereafter, the NTA expired for the second time. -- There was a similar struggle taking place at the time in Canada, but there, in every province the existence of a general educational organization or an Institute had preceded the founding of a teachers' association, with such organizations in many cases being transformed into independent teachers' associations in the early 1900's. -- When the NTA was revived in 1908, the privilege of honorary membership was extended to Superintendents of Education, and the Association pursued a concurrent policy of protective and professional objectives. Had it not been for its continuous publication of the NTA Journal, a subscription to which was included in the membership fee, the Association would probably have become dormant again in the period 1912-1923 when it suffered from uninspiring leadership and internal difficulties. -- In the period 1923-1929, under an energetic and able president, a permanent full-time secretary was hired and an office acquired. At the same time, a drive for membership, along with the pursuance of a program balanced judiciously between protective and professional aspects, virtually ensured the permanency of the Association. -- It should not be assumed, however, that the achievements of the late 1920's could have been realized in the 1890's, for by 1929 the establishment of a railway and coastal steamship service had made possible more frequent meetings of teachers. In addition, the broadening of Newfoundland's economic base had created a situation where a greater percentage of the population saw a need for education, and the measure of industrial development attained meant that a greater amount of money should be available for the extension of this social service.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7113
Item ID: 7113
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 198-203.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > History
Date: 1971
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Newfoundland Teachers' Association--History

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