What Is a Normal School?

Why do we have "Normal" in our name?

Normal Schools have been in existence since the 16th Century when a group of schools in France became interested in preparing people for teaching. The French concept of "école normale" was to establish schools to model best teaching practices thereby setting a standard or norm for student teachers.

Setting this standard has been the function of Normal schools worldwide. Normal Schools were established in the United States, Canada and Europe. Many famous universities, such as the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) were originally founded as normal schools.

The 22 Normal schools in New Zealand appointed by the Government provide a major teaching practicum facility for five universities nationwide.

Most trainee teachers in Dunedin will spend time at George Street Normal School during the course of their study. As well as observing and teaching small groups and classes, ‘College Teachers’ as they are known, add to our sports, cultural and elective programmes.

George Street Normal School is proud to be a Normal school. We have the longest history of school-based teacher education in New Zealand and our teachers are chosen for their expert knowledge and experience. We take our close association with the University of Otago seriously and know that this relationship benefits our children in many ways.