Fieldingsâ€™s The Governess assigns names and ages to her cast of female characters to distinguish them. In our terms, the girls are middle-schoolers with one high school girl. In the selection, you have Fielding describes a situation that most of us have probably witnessed in a classroom. The students are left on their own with a direction from the teacher to behave well, but of course a commotion occurs. When Mrs. Teachum returns and discovers the problem, she must try to resolve it and help the girls learn. As far as I know, what follows is the first scene in childrenâ€™s literature where peers learn the important lesson from each other, not from the adult. Discuss what happens in the dialogue between Jenny and Lucy and the subsequent meeting between Jenny and the larger group. What do the adolescent girls teach each other? How does their conversation align with Lockeâ€™s notion of learning?
Do not use outside references