Biography of Ramona Aparicio Rodríguez (1808-1881)

Spanish teacher, born in Madrid in 1808 and died in his hometown on March 15, 1881.

Born in the midst of the turbulent episodes of the Spanish war of independence, little Ramona Aparicio had the fortune of receiving, since his early childhood, a careful academic formation which, unfortunately, was not common among Spanish girls at his time. Indeed, completed his primary education in one of the most prestigious "mutual schools" in the country, the Lancasteriana girls school promoted and supported by the Board of the ladies of honour and merit of the society economic Matritense de Amigos del País. These centers apply the so-called "methods or mutual systems" put in practice in the United Kingdom by London educator Joseph Lancaster (1778-1838), consisting of the institution of a sequence of "master" thickened by the older students or more advantaged, that they taught lessons to the smallest or which were most delayed in their elementary learning. I was intended, this peculiar system of teaching, supplementing somewhat lack of professional teachers (what today would be qualified teachers) in educational levels, as the primary female education, just they had suitable teachers which could be maintained by the meagre budgets for teaching by the different public administrations of the time.

Enthusiast of this palliative model devised by Lancaster, the educator Juan Kearney headed in Madrid the Lancasteriana girls school which entered the little Ramona Aparicio, who very early showed signs of possessing an innate humanistic curiosity and a pronounced educational vocation that placed it, almost immediately, the head of the advanced students. In 1822, when he/she was just fourteen years old, the own Kearney examined the young teacher and dazzled by his wide knowledge and apparent suitability for teaching, awarded him the title of Director of the school, which incidentally was trying to prove the validity of your new system the State administration. Still did not exist in Spanish public education the normal schools which, from the second half of the 20th century, would grant official teaching titles, so it can be argued that Ramona Aparicio was one of the pioneers in the access to education from the practice of the teaching.

During three decades, vocational teacher Madrid stood in front of the Lancasteriana girls school without receiving another degree to which director Juan Kearney had given him, at the age of fourteen. In 1837 received his first official title as a teacher, and with it the recognition of the Administration to continue its fruitful teaching, that was consecrated with admirable delivery other two decades. Finally, in 1857 the provisions adopted by the great political zamorano Claudio Moyano Samaniego - at present, Minister of public works in the Cabinet of the military and political Narvaez- got out the famous law of public instruction (better known as "Claudio Moyano law"), by means of which it was established the following year the school Normal Central of teachers in Madridof which he/she was named Director Ramona Aparicio Rodríguez, following the relevant complimentary recommendation of the Board of ladies of Honor and merit. Not abandoned for this reason its guiding functions in front of its ancient and beloved school Lancasteriana of girls, who went on to become, under its new name of practices of the Normal School, the first link that had to pass the candidates to enter the Central Normal School. At the forefront of both institutions, Ramona Aparicio was maintained until the date of his death, combining their administrative functions with his dedication to the teaching quality of teacher's work, as it was normal among the teachers of his age, almost all of them formed in the old "schools of sewing" of late 18th century and early 19th (in whichalong with the work of needle and thimble, girls were taught to read and write, as well as the rudiments of arithmetic).

However, this traditional specialization of women in the teaching of domestic work was not, in the case of Ramona Aparicio, a separation of functions of higher academic rank, as shown was in the numerous requirements that were made to attend, as an examiner, the sessions of the courts of revalidation of primary school teachers. In addition, its intellectual height and its overwhelming experience allowed him to appear as a member of the courts of oppositions to public squares in female schools, as well as other complex tests in which you attempted to prove the validity of the girls normal school principals.

Sixty-one years of age, the game Madrid pedagogue (who said that he/she knew how to exercise the principle of dominant authority in his time, but without ever resorting to the bad words, physical punishment or any other punitive measure of excessive hardness against his students) still found with physical strength and intellectual capacity to assume the position of Director of the newly created School of carerssponsored by the krausist priest Fernando de Castro y Pajares, who was, at that time, Professor of Universal history at the Central University of Madrid. Improvisation characteristic of State administration in education resulted in that, once established this educational institution, not it existed in local Madrid suitable to host its headquarters, so initially it was installed in the school Normal Central of teachers led by Ramona Aparicio, who gladly accepted their direction. A year later, the own Fernando de Castro - introduced in Spanish educational policy numerous reforms inspired by the krausist program (see krausismo) - also founded the Association for the education of women, which found definitively fitted (together with other charitable institutions as the Academy's Conference Sunday for the women's education) quoted governess schoolwhich led to the appointment of its Director, Ramona Aparicio, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Association recently founded by father Castro. Animated by this public recognition of a teaching that the Madrid pedagogue, despite his advanced age, prolonged already by space of more than half a century, went in front of their tasks during another long decade, until only death could away from his selfless dedication to teaching.


DUCKLING, Juana-fernandez, Aurora: "Faculty female Central Normal School of teachers from Madrid, 1858-1900", in MATILLA, Mª Jesús-ORTEGA, Margarita (editors): VI Conference for interdisciplinary research on women: women's work (siglos XVI - XX), Madrid: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 1996.

COLMENAR ORZAES, Carmen: History of Central Normal School of teachers from Madrid (1858-1914), Madrid: Universidad Complutense, 1988.

RIVIÈRE GÓMEZ, Aurora: "Aparicio Rodríguez, Ramona", in MARTINEZ, Candida-PASTOR, Reyna-Easter, José Mª de la-TAVERA, Susana (directors): women in the history of Spain, Madrid: planet, 2000, pp. 400-401.

SAIZ OTERO, conception: An episode national not written by Pérez Galdós. The revolution of the 68 and the female culture, Madrid: General Librería de Victoriano Suárez, 1929.