Education During the Great Depression
Some say the Great Depression started on October 29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday. This is the day approximately 28 million shares of stock were sold and the stock market collapsed. However, the worst years of the Great Depression were yet to come; those years being 1932 and 1933.
During the Great Depression years not only did people suffer from lack of jobs, money, homes, and food, but the education of children suffered also.
Children dropped out of school to sell newspapers and shine shoes. Students were also forced to wear worn out, mended clothes and were too embarrassed to go to school.
People couldn't pay their property taxes so school districts were lacking funds. Few teachers were hired and there wasn't enough money to buy books and supplies. Students were forced to use worn textbooks which sometimes had pages missing.
Students were forced to bring their own supplies to school. Since many parents couldn't afford to buy these supplies, students dropped out.
Schools were forced to drop classes like home economics, physical education, art, and foreign languages. Just the basic courses of reading, writing, and arithmetic were taught.
By 1933 many public schools closed, leaving three million students with no school to go to.
Teachers were paid a flat fee regardless of experience or education. Many rural schoolteachers only had a high school diploma and were sixteen years old when they began teaching.
Many teachers during this time had their salaries cut or were paid in script. Some teachers received only room and board as compensation. Rural schoolteachers would live in the schoolhouse and cooked their food on a wood stove.
In the 1930s some city schools started what were called progressive classrooms. In these classrooms teachers let the students choose what subjects they wanted to learn. Teachers rarely used the standard textbooks and let the students work in small groups doing art and science projects and learning songs and dances.
Many parents were against these progressive classrooms. They wanted their children to learn the basics like reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Schools in rural areas mostly consisted of one-room schools, which meant that all the students, no matter what grade they were in, were in on classroom.
These schools had neither electricity nor running water. The school was heated with a wood stove and lanterns provided light. Water was gotten from an outdoor pump.
Students of one grade would recite their lessons while students in other grades did math problems on the blackboard in the front of the room or read their textbooks.
Many students who attended rural schools had to help with the spring planting and fall harvesting. During these seasons students went to school part-time or not at all. Many rural students quit school after eight grade to work full-time on the family farm.
President Franklin implemented his New Deal economic programs to help people get back on their feet.
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) gave money to schools to hire more teachers and buy supplies. It also enabled public schools to provide free hot lunches for students.
The WPA and PWA (Public Works Administration) built larger schools to replace the one-room schools. Separated rooms for different proved to provide a better education for the students.
The Great Depression lasted until World War Two. With the start of the war men and women were able to get jobs in factories building planes, ships, and weapons. With people working the economy recovered.
Education 1929-1941 - Historic Events for Students: The Great Depression | Encyclopedia.com http://bit.ly/27bjyEb
The Depression and Education - U.S. History in Context http://bit.ly/27bjLaz
The Great Depression: Education 1929-1941 http://bit.ly/27bjPai
Depression Era: 1930s: Education: Locally Decided | Picture This http://bit.ly/27bjWCv
How the Lack of Education During the Great Depression Affected Southern Society :: essays research papers fc http://bit.ly/27bk1pU
Going to School in Rural America during the 1930s http://bit.ly/27bk05h