There were three sections for students to choose from: the regular  course of study, the advanced course of study or the Household Arts course of study.1 The regular course was a two year program which culminated in teacher certification. Most of the students enrolled in this course. The Advanced course was more rigorous, introducing natural science courses and preparing the students for supervisory and special teachers of these courses. The Household Arts course was designed for increased practice in cooking and sewing.


Each student enrolled at the school was expected to be well educated in a wide variety of fields.  Regardless of which section the students pursued, they were required to take a mix of Normal courses and Household Arts courses. The following subjects were required for all students.2

Psychology and Pedagogy: Classes in this discipline included Elementary and Advanced Psychology, History of Education, School Management, Special Methods (studying teaching methods of core subjects), Grammar,Composition, Reading, Literature, Spelling.

Mathematics: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry.

Science: Physics, Chemistry, Zoology, Astronomy, Mineralogy, Botany, Agriculture, Physiology and Hygiene, Physical Culture (Physical Education), Geography, Bird Study.

Social Science: Civics, School Laws,

History: United States History, General History.

Music: Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced. Additionally provided Glee Club, Mandolin Club, and Orchestra.

Household Arts: Cooking, Sewing

Manual Arts: Drawing, Manual Training,

The Manual Training section was designed for students to learn to use a variety of tools, while also learning the necessity of neatness, organization, carefulness, and accuracy. In this class, students were expected to make items such as wooden toys, learn to bind books, basketry, and further woodworking.3

The Training School

In addition to learning the core subjects, students were given in-classroom practice. The Training School consisted of elementary school classes held at the Normal School. Each student was spent twelve weeks of their senior year working under the teachers and the Normal School supervisors in the school.4 Here, the student “assists in all work pertaining to school administration, makes physical tests, superintends play and lunch periods, prepares teaching material, tutors individual pupils, works with small groups of children, teaches classes under the direction and observation of grade teachers and training supervisor, and has the entire charge of the classroom during certain days.”5

Household Arts

The Normal School began teaching Household Arts in 1911, and the program was in constant expansion by 1917. Members of the regular course were expected to receive lessons on cooking and sewing, but those wishing to focus primarily on the subject could choose to pursue advanced study on the subject. The Household Arts slowly grew over the following years, to the point that they turned people away from the program due to lack of space. As a result, the Leavitt House was converted into a classroom, featuring sewing machines and kitchens. The students soon nicknamed it “The Cottage.”6

1. Catalogue and Annual Circular, State Normal and Training School, Farmington, Maine, For the Year Ending June 21, 1917, Mantor Library Archives, University of Maine at Farmington.
2. ibid, 30-33.
3. ibid, 35.
4. ibid, 36.
5. ibid.
6. ibid, 37-40.

Comments are closed.