Spring/printemps 2005

Placing the Grandy Sisters as Teachers in Pre-Confederation Newfoundland

Kay Whitehead
Associate Professor, School of Education, Flinders University
Judith Peppard
Lecturer, School of Education, Flinders University.
Published May 1, 2005
How to Cite
Whitehead, Kay, and Judith Peppard. 2005. “Placing the Grandy Sisters As Teachers in Pre-Confederation Newfoundland”. Historical Studies in Education / Revue d’histoire De l’éducation 17 (1), 81-105. https://doi.org/10.32316/hse/rhe.v17i1.417.


This paper draws on archival sources and interviews to explore the lives and work of four young women teachers, the Grandy sisters, in Newfoundland in the interwar years. We show that, notwithstanding the Department of Education=s intentions to professionalize the occupation, three of the sisters were transients in the profession, teaching for brief periods as ungraded and third-grade teachers in outport communities, while Winnie, the fourth sister, was ultimately accorded professional status on the basis of her qualifications, experience, and eleven-year career. The paper also explores the geographic and social meanings attached to the places in which these young women taught, and we argue that factors such as race, gender, and religion shaped their identities and experiences in Newfoundland schools.