Loopbaan en levensloop van onderwijzers en onderwijzeressen: sociale mobiliteit, huwelijk, inkomen, benoemingen en ontslag in het openbaar lager onderwijs in Groningen, ca. 1850-1920

Greetje Bijl

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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Career and Lives of teachers. Social mobility, marriage, income, the appointments and discharge in public school in Groningen, ca. 1850 – 1920

Central in this research are the careers and lives of men and women teachers in the province of Groningen. The main question is how the Education Laws of 1857 and 1878 were implemented and how they influenced the career opportunities of the teachers, in greatly impacting their lives.
A cohort analysis is used to research important indicators of the teaching profession including, the headmaster’s certificate, income, the appointments, additional jobs, secondary benefits and discharge. Social aspects of their lives such as marital status and parentage are studied in combination to their position. Women had a different career perspective to men. A comparative study was done in three municipalities: Slochteren, Grootegast and Warffum.

Instead of a mentor, the headmaster became a boss and the function of the teacher changed from assistant to the headmaster to an independent working class teacher with his own classroom. There was a differentiation in functions possible with other specialized diplomas for different subjects in primary school. In the research on social background it was noticed that the involvement of an independent professional group converged with a degradation of social background of the teacher. Teachers of a lower class more often occupied the new profession of class teacher.
The primary school with coeducation was traditionally a man’s world. Job perspectives for women were different, because they could not become head of a primary coeducation school, although law did not forbid it. Despite the comparatively few career perspectives for women a considerably number of teachers succeeded in gaining the masters certificate. The Education Act of 1878 stimulated woman teachers entering in the coeducation primary schools. The authorities wanted to supplement the shortage of teachers. The requirements that were asked for the teaching qualities of men and women did not differ significantly. More women qualified teachers started to work in a primary school, although most of them stopped when they got married. Most women who made a career in primary or secondary education had higher qualifications and stayed unmarried. The marriage rate of women with a teaching qualification was very low. In the beginning of the twentieth century there were more married women who kept working.
The national Government affected the labour market for teachers with legal provisions stipulating the number of pupils per teaching appointment. On the other hand, they also determined the supply side by expanding or shrinking the number of training opportunities and the provision of scholarships for students. The height of the annual income of teachers was depended on market forces. The women teachers entered a tight labour market at the end of the 1870s and benefited just like the men from a high salary. They were no cheap labour forces. The income of the headmasters was depending on the income of the Dutch Reformed Church.
In de province of Groningen there were almost no open conflicts on the appointment of a headmaster between the City Council and Church governance. In the province of Groningen the compulsory commitment made between the function of headmaster and sacristan still existed until the beginning of the twentieth century. In this way the Dutch Reformed Church subsidized a large part of public education. The National Government subsidised building the house for teachers, which led to many new houses and school buildings. The public school and headmaster were somewhat more separated from the Dutch Reformed Church. The Education Laws stimulated that teachers could live from their job as a teacher and became independent of other employers, but this process went slowly.
Original languageDutch
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Timmerman, Greetje, Supervisor
Award date20-Nov-2014
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-7389-8
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-7390-4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • 1850-1900
  • Onderwijzers
  • Loopbaan
  • Levensloop
  • Proefschriften (vorm
  • geschiedenis van het onderwijs

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