1887

n Historia - The government teacher as mediator of a "superior" education in Colesberg, 1849-1858

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Abstract

This article is set in the socially fluid context of a northern frontier town in the nineteenth-century Cape Colony. It examines the identity of James Rait, the young teacher at Colesberg Government School from 1849-1858. Rait was charged with implementing the complex curriculum of the New System of state education which had been introduced to the colony in 1839. Both the curriculum and textbooks were strongly rooted in Scottish educational discourses and this article investigates the teacher as mediator of a particular construction of knowledge and dispositions. It reflects on this role as the teacher who taught over 100 children of diverse cultural, class and racial backgrounds. It also examines the teacher's attempts to manage his growing incapacity to sustain a respectable manly identity. This was because of the incommensurate demands of his career and family on his ailing body and limited income. Disease can be seen to feminise the body; and while illness increasingly removed Rait from his classroom, his wife and particularly his female assistant were to bridge the domestic and working worlds and make up for his deficiency.

Hierdie artikel is 'n ondersoek na die sosiaal vloeibare konteks van 'n noordelike Kaapkolonie grensdorp in die midde-negentiende eeu. Daar word ondersoek ingestel na die identiteit van die jeugdige James Rait, wat tussen 1849 en 1858 onderwyser by Colesberg se Staatskool was. Rait is belas met die implementering van die "New System" van staatsonderrig se komplekse leerplan wat in 1839 in die kolonie ingestel is. Sowel die leerplan as die handboeke is sterk binne Skotse opvoedkundige diskoerse gewortel. En dus is daar 'n ondersoek in hierdie artikel van hoe die onderwyser as bemiddelaar van 'n besondere samestelling van kennis en geaardhede optree. Daar word gereflekteer oor die rol van die onderwyser wat aan 100 kinders van uiteenlopende kulturele, klas- en rasagtergronde moes onderrig gee. Die artikel stel ondersoek in na die onderwyser se groeiende onbekwaamheid in sy pogings om 'n ordentlike manlike identiteit te handhaaf as gevolg van die oneweredige eise van sy loopbaan en familie op sy liggaamlike ongesteldheid en beperkte inkomste. Siekte word hier beskou as die vervrouliking van die liggaam. Terwyl siekte toenemend Rait van sy klaskamer weggehou het, het sy vrou en in besonder sy vroulike assistent die wêrelde tussen die huislike en die werkende oorbrug om sodoende vir sy gebrek te kompenseer.

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/content/hist/57/1/EJC120563
2012-05-01
2016-12-04
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