The Act of 1852 authorized the appointment of a Superintendent of Education (the position d'Avray
held for five years), authorized the appointment of county Inspectors and gave permission to districts
or parishes to assess themselves in support of schools. This Act also extended the period of training
to 12 weeks at the Training School in Saint John (MacNaughton, 148-149).
In 1854 a Commission was established to consider the value of King's College. Among the commissioners
were Egerton Ryerson of Toronto and J. W. Dawson (later principal of McGill University) of Nova Scotia.
Of the Commission's report MacNaughton wrote:
Referring to the Normal and Model Schools, the Commission indicated ,
that these institutions had only been partially successful, if not failures,
and implied that this was because of inadequate facilities and meager
financial support. New Brunswick could have premises as spacious, and
buildings as noble as those in Canada West, at the expense of 1000 pounds
for procuring and fitting up the premises and apparatus, and 1000 pounds
a year for the support of the institution. A good Normal School and public
libraries were, the Commissioners thought, absolutely indispensable (152).
The regulations of the Act of 1858 concerning the qualification of teachers remained virtually
the same as those outlined in the Act of 1852. As did the Act of 1847, it stipulated what subjects
the male and female holders of the three classes of license were to teach.
Males of the first class were to teach spelling, reading, writing, arithmetic, English grammar,
geography, history, bookkeeping, geography, geometry, menstruation, land surveying, navigation and
algebra, Females of the same class were to teach needlework and the first seven subjects listed for
Males of the second class were to teach the first eight subjects listed for males of the first class,
while females of the second class were to teach the same subjects as the males of the second class
except for history and bookkeeping. They were, however, to teach needlework.
Both male and female teachers of the third class were to teach spelling, reading, writing and
arithmetic with the addition of needlework for females. As well, teachers of both sexes holding
first- and second-class licenses were "to impart a knowledge of the Geography, History and
Resources of the Province of New Brunswick and the adjoining North American colonies"
As noted, when William Mills took over the operation of the Saint John Training School in 1858, he
moved it to his own premises. However, he did not have sufficient space to accommodate all the female
students who wished to enroll, so he placed them in another building and engaged the daughter of Edmund
Duval to instruct them. The lack of space experienced at that time was not resolved for another
In 1870 it was decided to close the Training Schools in both Chatham and Saint John and offer teacher
training only in Fredericton. Such a move, it was reasoned, would lead to more efficient supervision
of its operation. With the move to Fredericton came the return to the designation Normal School. William
Crocket was appointed principal, a position he held twice with service as chief superintendent of education
and as a professor of Classics at Morin College, Quebec City intervening between his two terms as principal.
The relocation to Fredericton, however, did not bring with it an immediate move to permanent quarters,
for, while the Government did commit itself to building a new facility, it was several years before it
did so. As a consequence, the Normal School found yet another temporary home in the Stone Barracks,
where the rent was 10 pounds per annum.
The first Normal School had been housed in a jail. Perhaps a barracks might be considered a step-up in
respectability. But whatever the location, the move from a basement and a leaking semi-loft in Saint John
must have seemed to those who had experienced it a move in the right direction.
The Government finally acted on its commitment to construct a new building for the Normal School,
which opened in 1877 on a site at the corner of Queen and York Streets. It was an impressive building
into which 148 students were admitted for classes in the middle of May. The rooms for the Model
Department were ready for accepting students on June 12. The official opening at which Lieutenant-Governor
S. L. Tilley presided took place on August 14.
For the preparation of French-speaking teachers a French Preparatory Department was established in
the Normal School in 1878. According to J. E. Picot this Preparatory Department "became no more
than an academic school" (42). Most students completing the Department's program accepted the
third-class license valid for two years (and later for three years) without receiving any teacher
training per se.
As a result of the inadequacy of the program to prepare French-speaking teachers, the Preparatory
Department was phased out and replaced by the French Department in 1883 under the direction of
Alphée Belliveau, who held this position until his retirement in 1920.
The change in name also saw a change in the program designed for French-speaking student teachers.
“The change,” Dr. Picot wrote, “was to provide for training in teaching as well
as for academic instruction so that Acadian students could receive a permanent license…[and]
French student teachers were to receive instruction in French as well as in the English
language…and graduates received permanent third class licenses” (43).
They were to receive instruction in professional subjects from the Principal of the Normal School,
but if they were “deemed sufficiently well qualified to be presented at the close of the term
for examination in advance of class three, they received professional and academic instruction in
the English Department” (MacNaughton, 233). MacNaughton continued, “At the close of the term
they were examined for license on the same subjects as were prescribed for other candidates, but an
additional paper in French was set for all French candidates, for which they received credit by adding
the examiner’s estimate upon it to the other estimates without including the subject in the
In 1900 a course in manual training was instituted for male teachers and a course in domestic science
for female teachers followed soon after. In 1903 the Macdonald Consolidated School, which opened on
the Kingston Peninsula, offered courses in both domestic science and manual training and just one
year later, a special class formed for the preparation of manual teachers in New Brunswick became
one of the Provincial Normal School’s programs.
In 1910 all graduates of the Normal School were required to obtain a certificate in physical training.
This requirement of all Normal School/Teachers College students was still in effect in as late as 1947.
Coinciding with the conclusion of World War I in 1918, a period during which enrollment at the
Normal School declined, the Government of New Brunswick passed the Vocational Education Act whose
purpose was to establish vocational education in the province. This Act also placed the administration
of vocational education in the hands of a newly established Vocational Education Board.
In 1919 the Government of Canada passed the Technical Education Act to promote vocational
education across the nation and the New Brunswick Vocational Education Board established an
office and named Fletcher Peacock as director and secretary with the mandate to organize a
Vocational Education Branch and to prepare for the school year 1919-1920.
Since there was a dearth of teachers prepared to teach vocational subjects, the Vocational Board developed a
“two-track” policy to prepare competent vocational teachers: The operation of a provincial summer
school and the subsidization of study outside the province. For the next two decades-and-a-half summer schools for
vocational teachers were conducted in various centers, the first being the one held in 1919 in Fredericton for
Home Economics teachers.
An important step in teacher education was taken with the agreement of Mount Allison University (1926)
and the University of New Brunswick (1928) to offer summer school courses that allowed for the academic
upgrading of teachers. With this agreement summer schools for both vocational and academic teachers assumed
a presence that has continued into the twenty-first century.
In 1929 the Normal School Building (except for some of the
front façade and the Model School Annex) was destroyed by fire. On December 10, 1931 a new Normal
School Building, the second one built on the same site, was officially opened. In his remarks during the
occasion Dr. H. V. B. Bridges, principal of the Normal School, reported that since 1877 approximately
15,000 students had undertaken teacher training (Picot, 77).
During the decade of the 1930s several important steps were taken in the program offered at the Normal
School. In 1933-1934, for example, it was decided the Normal School faculty would be responsible of
discussing and demonstrating methods relating to the subjects they were teaching. It was also decided
during the same academic year that all examinations for teachers’ licenses were to be set and
marked by the Normal School principal and faculty. And during 1936-1937 14 student teachers spent one week
in a rural school for the purposes of observation, an experiment which proved so successful that rural
practice teaching “was adopted as a regular part of the [teacher education] programme” (Picot, 87).
In 1934 teacher education became a postgraduate degree program at Mount Allison University. However,
only one BEd degree was awarded by that institution until 1947. Of interest is the fact that it was in
1923 that the first course in Education – Educational Psychology – was offered there, the
professor being G. J. Trueman, who had just become the fifth president of the University that same year (Reid, 81).
During the summer of 1937 both academic and vocational teachers attended the summer school conducted
in Saint John by the provincial Department of Education. They also did in the summers of 1938 and 1939.
It is of interest to note that 610 teachers (about one-quarter of all the public school teachers in
the Province) attended the 1938 New Brunswick Summer School of Education and Fine Arts. Also in the same
year (1938) St. Joseph’s University began to offer summer school courses.
"The year 1940-1941," as Dr. Picot noted, “was the final one for the French Department as a separate
entity… No third class licenses were issued after December 1940 and French-speaking students were
enrolled in the regular program after that date” (90).
The teacher shortage, exacerbated by World War II, was still very acute so that beginning in July, 1946
two classes of students were accepted at the Normal School: One in July and one in January. Students who
graduated from this accelerated program received licenses valid for two years with the licenses being made
permanent after two years of successful teaching and attendance at two summer schools offered by the
provincial Department of Education.
In 1946 two very important events in the training of vocational teachers occurred. In Saint John
a two-year program for the training of Home Economics teachers was instituted. Rheta Inch, Supervisor
of Home Economics Education for the Province of New Brunswick, played a key role in its development
and served as the head of the program until it was transferred to the Teachers College in Fredericton
Applications from veterans with trade skills for a teacher training course led to the organization
of a course at the Canadian Veterans’ Rehabilitation Center #3 in Millidgeville and Center #4
in Moncton in May, 1946 (Dow, The Tech: Moncton NBCC, 1946-1986, 18). Four student
teachers were enrolled in Center #3 and one in Center #4.This program for training industrial teachers
did not disappear when in 1947 the Federal Government scaled down its program of vocational training
for veterans. Rather it became an integral part of the Provincial Technical Institute established by the
Province of New Brunswick in 1948 under the direction of Clinton L. Dow with the teacher education
students at Center #4 moving to Moncton and the program coming under the direction of W. B. Thompson
In 1947 the name of the Provincial Normal School was changed to the New Brunswick Teachers College,
the change reflecting trends in teacher education that were occurring across North America. For those
older teachers who had attended the institution known as P.N.S. the change in name was felt keenly
and many of them continued to say for the rest of their lives that they were graduates of the old P.N.S.
While summer school courses had been offered at Saint Joseph’s University in the late-1930s,
it was in 1947 that the first seven degrees in teaching were awarded by that institution. Three years
later a Baccalaureate in Education began to be offered during the regular year. In 1953 the Degree
in Education was moved to the Moncton campus of Saint Joseph’s and when the Université
de Moncton was founded in 1963, the name of the Faculty of Education was changed to the School of
Psychology and Education (Cormier, 164-165).
In 1949 the policy of accelerated classes at the New Brunswick Teachers College was discontinued
and the teacher training program became once more a 10-month one. However, hand in hand with the
growing need for more teachers was the realization that the period of teacher preparation needed
to be lengthened. The growth of regional schools with more diversified programs, the growing
technology and more complex industrial operations, the growing body of knowledge about how
children learn - all of these developments were factors in the belief that more time was needed to
educate the teachers of an increasingly more complex society.
In 1950 the University of New Brunswick began to offer a post-graduate Bachelor of Education degree
and in the same year a Department of Education was established with Dr. Robert J. Love as its chair.
Over the next two decades he was instrumental in promoting initiatives that brought the provincial
teacher education responsibility into a closer relationship with the University. Serving first as an
administrative assistant to University of New Brunswick president Milton Gregg and as a professor of
Economics, this former high school principal was also a champion for New Brunswick teachers, a role
for which he will long be remembered and for which he was awarded an honorary LLD by his alma
mater upon his retirement in 1972.
In 1952 Saint Thomas University began to offer a post-graduate Bachelor of Education degree. As the
decades passed, this program continued to increase its number of graduates and programs designed to
meet the changes of the twenty-first century.
A Bachelor of Teaching degree was offered at the University of New Brunswick in 1956 and at Mount Allison
University in 1957. This degree initially meant that three years of study beyond the one year taken at
Teachers College would be of particular benefit of teachers in the field, for they could pursue a degree
program through summer school attendance if they did not wish to take time off teaching to attend
university on a full-time basis.
Two events in 1959 were of signal importance in the preparation of teachers. One was the move to
establish a two-year program for the training of secondary teachers. This new program enabled teachers
to pursue a BA or BSc degree upon completion of an additional two years’ coursework at university.
As with candidates for the BT degree secondary teachers had the option of pursuing their degree
either through summer school attendance or attendance at university during regular academic sessions.
The second significant event was the establishment in that year of a two-year course for business
education teachers at the New Brunswick Technical Institute (Moncton) under the direction of Margaret
Macdougall (later a professor of Business Education at the University of New Brunswick). This program
was the culmination of approximately four decades of meeting the supply of business education teachers
by “licensed academic teachers with business training and/or business experience, experienced
business teachers from private business colleges and church schools, or individuals with a good
business background desirous of entering the field"(Macdougall, 279). These individuals, either
at personal or government expense, had pursued specialized study either in Ontario or in the United
However, these sources were proving inadequate to meet the need of business education teachers as
the number of students enrolled in these programs increased in the 1940s and 1950s. In an attempt
to meet the need for teachers recent graduates of business colleges or of high school commercial
programs with only one summer of preparation were called upon to fill the demand. Hence the launching
of the new program at the New Brunswick Technical Institute.
Beginning in 1961 with the completion of one full university course they were made eligible to receive
Certificate II. As well, those wishing to pursue a university degree program were able to do so beginning
in the same year when the University of New Brunswick‘s Bachelor of Teaching, “having been
adapted to meet the needs of Home Economics and Industrial Teachers, was further adapted to provide for
the special needs of Commercial Teachers” (Macdougall, 285). With the completion of 14 full year
courses or the equivalent they were eligible to receive Certificate IV.
At a later date the Universite de Moncton made an arrangement requiring completion of 12 courses so that
graduates of the two-year N.B.I.T. Business Education Teacher Training Program could proceed to the
Bachelor of Teaching degree in Moncton. As well, in 1970 a two-year Business Education Teacher Training
program began to be offered in French at the New Brunswick Technical Institute.
In September 1962 it was decided all teacher education programs, “with the exception of the
one-year unit shop course at the New Brunswick Technical Institute were to be of two years’
duration” (Picot, 113). This change to all teacher education programs being of two-years’
duration required more space than was available, so plans to build a new facility were launched. The
result was a move from downtown Fredericton to the University of New Brunswick campus, where a building
– later named Marshall d’Avray Hall – was opened in September, 1964.
In 1968 the Ecole Normale opened on the campus of the Universite de Moncton with the Fredericton
campus now being considered essentially as the Teachers College for anglophone student teachers.
However, in 1973 regardless of where student teachers were being prepared to teach, talk was
of extending the two-year programs to four years and – following the appointment and
recommendations of University of New Brunswick Professor Harvey Malmberg and Ecole Normale
principal Yvan Albert – teacher education programs were transferred to the Universities
of Moncton and New Brunswick.
Degree programs were designed to be of four years’ duration with an extensive practice teaching
component (internship) with the various levels and subjects taught in the public schools of New Brunswick
being integral to them. At the same time the one-year post-secondary BEd degree remained available for
those who wished to pursue it as a post-graduate degree. Graduate MEd degree programs continued but with
a wider selection of areas to specialize in.
Business education and Industrial teacher education programs for anglophone students were transferred
to the University of New Brunswick campus. And a new era in teacher education had begun.
Cormier, Clement. (1975). L’Universite de Moncton: Historique. Moncton: Centre d’etudes Acadiennes.
Dow, Clinton L. (1986). The TECH: Moncton NBCC 1946-86. Moncton: The New Brunswick Community College (Moncton).
Macdougall, Margaret. (2001). The Evolution of Business Education in New Brunswick:; 1784-1984, Saint John: ImPresses.
MacNaughton, Katherine F. C. (1947). The Development of the Theory and Practice of Education in New Brunswick 1784-1900,
Fredericton: University of New Brunswick Historical Studies No. 1.
McNutt, James Willard (c.1983). History of Vocational Education in New Brunswick. (PANB:RS865.C.2).
Picot, J. E. (1974). A Brief History of Teacher Training in New Brunswick: 1848-1973. Fredericton: The
Department of Education.
Reid, John G. (1984). Mount Allison University: A History. Vol. II. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.