Normal Schools (Lat. norma, a carpenter's square; hence, a rule or pattern), establishments for the education of teachers. The first normal school was organized in Stettin, Prussia, in 1735. Frederick the Great established a second in Berlin in 1748. One was opened in Hanover in 1757, and others soon afterward in various parts of Germany. Since the beginning of the present century, training schools for teachers have been rapidly multiplying. The course of instruction is now generally extended to three or four years. In some of the German states the great majority of the teachers are graduates of the normal schools. The first seminary for teachers in France was established in 1810, and the first in the Netherlands in 1816; and since that time they have been introduced into the other principal countries of Europe. In Great Britain they are commonly called training colleges. The first suggestion for the establishment of normal schools in the United States was made by Prof. Deni-son Olmsted, in an oration delivered in New Haven, in 1816. Gov. De Witt Clinton, in his message to the legislature of New York in 1825, recommended a seminary for teachers, and repeated the recommendation the next year.
During the next ten years the subject was agitated by well known writers and educators, in various"periodicals. In 1838 Edmund Dwight offered the sum of $10,000 for the purpose of establishing a normal school in Massachusetts, on condition that the state should appropriate an equal amount for the same purpose. Accordingly the first normal school in America, that now established at Framingham, was opened at Lexington, July 3, 1839. Two others were soon opened, and five are now supported by the state of Massachusetts. Nearly every state in the Union now has one or more normal schools, chartered by the legislature, and generally sustained wholly or" in part by annual appropriations. A few of them exist only as departments of the state universities; most of them have model schools attached. Accounts of them will be found in the articles on the respective states. Normal schools under 'municipal management are also established in several of the larger cities of the United States. In 1873 there were in the United States 119 normal schools, with about 9o0 instructors and 17,000 students in course.
There are also several in British America.