Fall/automne 2003

“Unless she gives better satisfaction”: Teachers, Protestant Education, and Community in Rural Quebec, Lochaber and Gore District, 1863-1945

Mary Anne Poutanen
McGill and Concordia Universities
Published October 1, 2003


This study explores the complex relationships from 1863 to 1945 between the Board of School Trustees of Lochaber and Gore, its teachers, and parents, to reveal how these different parties influenced, resisted, and consented to changes in local schooling. Thus, the analysis moves away from a social control model which has dominated the literature on schooling in Quebec to reveal the local dynamics at work in the community. The Protestants of Lochaber and Gore were a microcosm of the larger Protestant community in Quebec. All of the problems associated with rural education in poor regions across Quebec, such as teacher transiency, widespread poverty and a modest tax base, the primitive nature of one-room schoolhouses, and conflict between the seasonal demands of agriculture and school time, existed here. This investigation is based on historical documents from the Archives of the Western Quebec School Board in addition to newspaper accounts and local histories.