In February 1922 the editor of the SA Teachers’ Journal introduced a ‘Country Corner’ column that was to be contributed by a member of the Women Teachers Progressive League (WTPL) under the pen name ‘Tish’. Tish was Phebe Watson, the WTPL secretary (a position she had held since its inauguration in 1915), Women’s Warden at the Teachers College and Mistress of Method in charge of the short course of training for country teachers. This article focuses on representations of the country teacher in the Country Corner column in the interwar years. I argue that Phebe invoked contemporary discourses of youth and femininity to construct the rural teacher as a youthful, responsible, attractive and marriageable woman. Following on from recent research into ways in which city functioned both as a place and representation in education, I also begin to identify discourses of the country and the city in constructions of the teacher and teachers’ work.
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