Comparison of Private versus Public Education in Rockingham County, Virginia Oral Histories, 1992

Browse manuscript collections

Summary Information

Repository:
Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Creator:
Smith, Andrea
Title:
Comparison of Private versus Public Education in Rockingham County, Virginia Oral Histories
Collection No.:
SdArch 12
Date:
1992
Extent:
3 folders, 3 audiocassettes, 3 cds, .2 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
English
Abstract:
The Comparison of Private versus Public Education in Rockingham County, Virginia, Oral Histories, 1992 is comprised of background paper, audio recordings and transcripts, associated with two interviews with individuals discussing their experiences with education in the Shenandoah Valley, from the 1920s-1970s.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], [box #, folder #], Comparison of Private versus Public Education in Rockingham County, Virginia, Oral Histories, 1992, SdArch 12, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

^ Top

Biographical / Historical

Andrea Smith, an undergraduate student at James Madison University, conducted these interviews in fulfillment of a JMU student internship, during the Fall of 1992.

^ Top

Scope and Content

Comparison of Private versus Public Education in Rockingham County, Virginia, Oral Histories, 1992 is comprised of background paper, audio recordings and transcripts, associated with two interviews with individuals discussing their experiences with education in the Shenandoah Valley from the 1920s-1070s.

^ Top

Arrangement

Items are arranged chronologically.

^ Top

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Acquisition Information

Donated by Andrea Smith, 1992

Location

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL: https://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/

^ Top

Index Terms

Genre and Form

  • oral histories (literary works)

Geographic Name

  • Rockingham County (Va.) -- History -- 18th century

Personal Name

  • Smith, Andrea

Subject

  • Schools -- Virginia -- Rockingham County -- History
  • Rural schools -- Virginia -- Rockingham County -- History
  • Private schools -- Virginia -- Rockingham County -- History
  • Home schooling -- Virginia -- Rockingham County -- History
  • Rockingham County (Va.) -- History -- 19th century
  • Rockingham County (Va.) -- History -- 20th century
  • Education, Elementary -- Virginia -- Harrisonburg
  • Education, Elementary -- Curricula -- History
  • Education, Secondary -- Virginia -- Harrisonburg
  • Education -- Virginia -- Rockingham County (Va.) -- History

^ Top

Collection Inventory

Title/Description Instances
Project Description and Background Paper, December 9, 1992

This monograph provides a short history of education in the state of Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley, and in particular, Rockingham County, Va. Compares and contrasts the types of education available for affluent and less affluent families, in the form of private and public education. Reviews how private education began through tutoring and academies and quotes from the writings of Major R. Grattan (d. 1849), of Rockingham County. Briefly records the history of public education, beginning with Thomas Jefferson and including the efforts of Henry Ruffner who first proposed a state-wide public school system based on districts (1845; similar plan adopted in 1870). Mentions education of Afro-Americans and segregation. Records school figures (buildings, numbers of students), various rules of attendance and typical curricula for the five districts of Rockingham County beginning in the 1870s through the 1950s. Compares education in urban and rural settings with mention of types of school buildings (including the use of one-room schools), and changes towards consolidation. Accompanies interviews of two ladies and their reminiscences of educational opportunities growing up during the 1920s, one as a member of a prominent family and the other who later became a school teacher and supervisor in the Rockingham County school system. The project summary, based on the interviews, determined that while private education was viewed as being more favorable than public education, they were in many ways comparable.

Box 1 Folder 1
Margaret Grattan Weaver interviewed by Andrea Smith, October 23, 1992

Records the reminiscences of Grattan Weaver, member of a prominent Rockingham County, Va. family. Discusses education issues in general and the history of local private education in particular, especially in reference to her own family, beginning with her great grandfather, Major Robert Grattan (founder of Hood College, Md.). Mentions the old schoolhouse located behind the main house on the farm and the system of private tutoring. Talks about various local preparatory and finishing schools, military academies and colleges (Stribling Spring School, McGaheysville; one at Mossy Creek and Harrisonburg; West Central Academy, Mt. Clinton; Augusta Military Academy; Shenandoah Institute, Dayton; Woodberry Forest; Stuart Hall, Staunton; Hollins College; Harrisonburg High School and National Park College (where Mrs. Weaver went to school); Hampton Institute; Wellesley College (Mass.); VMI and the University of Va. Talks about school experiences and various curricula common to the day; compares and contrasts private and public education. Other references are made to family history (incl. the Roller family), various farms, the education of former slaves and the Civil War. Recorded at Mrs. Margaret Grattan Weaver's home, Inglewood Farm, Rockingham County, Va., on Oct. 23, 1992.

Transcript, October 23, 1992 Box 1 Folder 2
Original audiocassette, October 23, 1992 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA012-CS-001
Preservation master cd Media Cabinet 1 CD SA012-OP-001
Dorothy Swank interviewed by Andrea Smith, October 28, 1992

Records the reminiscences of Dorothy Swank, retired elementary school teacher for the Rockingham County (Va.) school system. Talks about her educational background and experiences over a span of forty-four years of teaching including: teacher training (through the State Normal school now known as James Madison University); certification; experiences teaching in one-room schools such as Little North Mountain and Mt. Pleasant, teaching at a combined elementary-high school at Bridgewater, and Broadway elementary school; discipline problems; and experiences as an elementary school supervisor. Mentions conditions in one-room schools and their gradual phase out (last one in Rockingham County closed in 1962); recreation opportunities for students; teacher salaries and Depression-era problems; curricula; numbers of students in classrooms; compulsory attendance and consolidation of high schools (1951). Mentions contributions in the area of special education and providing education for learning disabled students; her interest in the Friendship Industries sheltered workshop in Harrisonburg; development of kindergarten programs; use of TV in schools; and art education. Remembers former students and their accomplishments to date. In general provides a perspective on public education in Rockingham County, Va. from the 1920s through early 1970s. Recorded at Ms. Dorothy Swank's home, Singers Glen, Rockingham County, Va., on Oct. 28, 1992

Transcript, October 28, 1992 Box 1 Folder 3
Original audiocassette #1, October 28, 1992 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA012-CS-002
Original audiocassette #2, October 28, 1992 Media Cabinet 1 Audiocassette SA012-CS-003
Preservation master cd #1 Media Cabinet 1 CD SA012-OP-002
Preservation master cd #2 Media Cabinet 1 CD SA012-OP-003