School Desk

Fürstenau, beginning 20th century

While sitting in this desk, children once learnt reading, calligraphy, mathematics, praying or singing. In Graubünden mandatory schooling was introduced in 1859. However, it turned out to take decades before it was entirely established. The reason was that, particularly in rural areas, school was often only attended irregularly, because many children had to help their parents on the farm. Especially the education of girls long remained neglected.

In general, school was usually only held in winter and often in classes of mixed ages. In some places children had to bring along a piece of wood every day, in order to heat the classroom.