Created in 1905, the Alberta Normal Schools trained primary and secondary school teachers. Central School (later the James Short School) housed the first of the Alberta Normal Schools in Calgary. Construction on a dedicated building began in 1906 and a year later, the Normal School moved into what later became McDougall School (now Government House).
As classes increased in size, the Calgary Normal School relocated in 1922 to the campus of the newly built Provincial Institute of Technology and Art (later renamed the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology SAIT). The Normal School occupied temporary premises for the duration of World War II in the King Edward School from 1940-1945.
At the end of World War II, the Calgary Normal School returned to its previous location in the Provincial Institute. With the anticipated return of hundreds of service man and women from the War, and the consequent increase in demand for post-secondary education, the provincial government restructured the provision of teacher education. The University of Alberta thereafter assumed responsibility for all teacher education in the province, and the Normal Schools ceased to exist in Alberta.
The Calgary Normal School became the Calgary Branch of the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Education, forming the foundation of today’s Werklund School of Education.
Did you know?
In the 1970s, the university expressed an interest in buying the James Short School cupola; the city ultimately decided to place the cupola in a park where the school once stood.