After decades of negative interpretation, it is nowadays clear that in the Restoration age the elementary school system in Lombardy experienced both a quantitative and a qualitative improvement, which was impressive and long-lasting. The essay, after recollecting the increased number of elementary schools and pupils and the differences in boys’ and girls’ statistics, which show the great improvement in female literacy, highlights the qualitative amelioration of teacher training, from the Normal method in Joseph II’s and in Napoleonic age to Milde’s pedagogy in the Restoration. The Normal School of Milan and its director Francesco Cherubini’s action (who was the translator of Peitl’s books for teachers) are analyzed with new archival sources, among which relevant are also the files of the examinations of candidate teachers in Milan, which show how the preparation got deeper and wider. The municipality of Milan appointment criteria are taken into account,too: they prove both the slowness of the teaching career and the control on merit. Finally, the appearance of female elementary school teachers, well prepared and keen, opened in Milan and Lombardy a new, highly requested job for women.
- history of schooling, Austrian Lombardy