Term of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

William M. Reynolds

Committee Member 1

Bryan Deever

Committee Member 2

Jane Page

Committee Member 3

Kemp Mabry


This qualitative study enriches the historical record by giving voice to boarding teachers and their expression of what it meant to be a boarding teacher in Bulloch County, Georgia in the 1930s and 1940s. For this study, the definition of a '"boarding" teacher is an employed teacher who lives in a private home not her own. She would eat meals in the home and pay for them. This study also provides in-depth knowledge of oral history provided by extensive interviews with twelve former teachers who boarded in homes while teaching in rural schools. The long interview was the methodology used as questions were asked of twelve former female boarding teachers of Bulloch County. Analysis of the interview data resulted in thematically organized, composite stories. The results of this study were presented within the context of the economic, educational and social setings of rural communities in the 1930s and 1940s on national, state, and local levels. Areas studied were: age of beginning teachers, education of the teachers, why they chose to teach, the transportation of the day, their weekends, a typical day, and their salary. Emerging themes were noted. The dominant theme was caring for students. Other themes were boarding house duties, chapel, interaction with boarding hosts, paying board, rooming accommodations and economic conditions of the Great Depression. A theme which emerged from responses to the open-ended question was that of the social events which revolved around the school such as holiday programs, chapel, box suppers, cakewalks, candy pullings. and peanut boilings.


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