Jane Miller Thengberg

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Jane Miller Thengberg, (22 March 1822 Greenock, Scotland - 2 May 1902, Uppsala, Sweden), was a Swedish-Scottish teacher. She founded and managed the girls' school Klosterskolan in Uppsala from 1855 to 1863 and was the principal of the Högre lärarinneseminariet in Stockholm from 1863 to 1868. She organized the rules of the newly founded Högre lärarinneseminariet, was an active participant in the contemporary debate about the educational system in Sweden, and is regarded as a pioneer of the education of girls and women in Sweden.

Biography[edit]

Jane Miller Thengberg was the daughter of a Scotsman named John Miller (d. 1831), who was employed in the British Navy, and Christina Jansson from Sweden. In 1834, she moved to Karlstad in Sweden with her mother. As an adult, she worked as a governess in both Sweden (1845-52) and Scotland (1852). In 1854, she married the teacher and librarian Pehr Adrian Thengberg (d. 1859) in Uppsala, where she was introduced in intellectual circles frequented by, among others, PDA Atterbom, Thekla Knös, Gunnar Wennerberg, and Malla Silfverstolpe. She participated in the contemporary debate about the education of females. At this point, there were criticisms against the girls' school in Sweden, which were considered shallow. There was also a wish to establish schools which could offer serious academic education to girls, and many girls' schools were established. Between 1855 and 1863, she founded and managed her own girls' school, Klosterskolan, which became known for its high academic standards. From 1857, it also functioned as a female seminary, where she educated adult female teachers. The Klosterskolan was regarded as a pioneer educational institution for females under its short duration.

In 1863 Miller Thengberg succeeded Hilda Elfving in the position of principal at the newly established Högre lärarinneseminariet for female teachers in Stockholm. She organised the institution according to her own pattern in 1864. Her rules became the target of public debate, which is said to have been caused by male teachers whom she had fired, with the support of Fredrika Bremer. Jane Miller Thengberg was described as brusque and efficient. She was not regarded as a feminist but rather held the view similar to Sophie Bolander. Although she spoke for females to be given education equal to what was given to males, she did not see it as ideal that they use this education to participate in society. She still supported the conventional idea that a woman's place was in the private life of the home.

In 1868, she married a teacher, Carl Norrby, and she subsequently resigned her post.

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