A Vision for Girls: Gender, Education, and the Bryn Mawr School

Overview

"To educate American girls and women in ways beyond the traditional has been a dangerous experiment that has challenged basic notions of female nature and has seemed to threaten the social order... One such bold venture in female education—the Bryn Mawr School of Baltimore, Maryland—is the subject of Andrea Hamilton's lively and well-researched book... In Hamilton's telling, the story of the Bryn Mawr School moves beyond its local particulars to illumine much about the history of American education and life... The importance of Hamilton's

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Overview

"To educate American girls and women in ways beyond the traditional has been a dangerous experiment that has challenged basic notions of female nature and has seemed to threaten the social order... One such bold venture in female education—the Bryn Mawr School of Baltimore, Maryland—is the subject of Andrea Hamilton's lively and well-researched book... In Hamilton's telling, the story of the Bryn Mawr School moves beyond its local particulars to illumine much about the history of American education and life... The importance of Hamilton's contribution is that she never loses sight of the complexity of the school and its relation to society. Her history of the Bryn Mawr School helps us understand aspects of the unique position held by American women in national social, intellectual, and cultural life."—from the Foreword by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz

Baltimore's Bryn Mawr School was founded in the 1880s, the first college-preparatory school for girls in the United States. Unlike other educational institutions at the time, the Bryn Mawr School championed intellectual equality of the sexes. Established with the goal of providing girls with an education identical to boys' in quality and compass, it endeavored to prepare girls to excel in a public sphere traditionally dominated by men.

Narrating the history of the Bryn Mawr School, Andrea Hamilton's A Vision for Girls examines the value of single-sex education, America's shifting educational philosophy, and significant changes in the role of women in American society. Hamilton reveals an institution that was both ahead of its time and a product of its time.

A Vision for Girls offers an original and engaging history of an institution that helped shape educational goals in America, shedding light on the course of American education and attitudes toward women's intellectual and professional capabilities.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Baltimore Sun
A Vision for Girls is a skillfully written book that places Bryn Mawr in the context of girls' education in America across the 20th century... excellent work of scholarship.

— Mike Bowler

American Historical Review
Hamilton's treatment of what some might regard as controversial material cannot be faulted.

— William W. Cutler, III

History of Education Quarterly
Valuable as a testimony to the import of academic freedom.

— Chara Haeussler Bohan

Journal of American History
A Vision for Girls adds a new chapter to the history of American education and women.

— Amy Thompson McCandless

Feminist Teacher
A compelling account of how the history of the Bryn Mawr School parallels the history of female education in the United States, as well as the broader history of the changing roles and expectations of women in American culture.

— Alice Ginsberg

Feminist Collections
Valuable... suitable reading for undergraduate and graduate women's studies or education courses.

— Rebekah Buchanan

Baltimore Sun - Mike Bowler
A Vision for Girls is a skillfully written book that places Bryn Mawr in the context of girls' education in America across the 20th century... excellent work of scholarship.
American Historical Review - William W. Cutler
Hamilton's treatment of what some might regard as controversial material cannot be faulted.
History of Education Quarterly - Chara Haeussler Bohan
Valuable as a testimony to the import of academic freedom.
Journal of American History - Amy Thompson McCandless
A Vision for Girls adds a new chapter to the history of American education and women.
Feminist Teacher - Alice Ginsberg
A compelling account of how the history of the Bryn Mawr School parallels the history of female education in the United States, as well as the broader history of the changing roles and expectations of women in American culture.
Feminist Collections - Rebekah Buchanan
Valuable... suitable reading for undergraduate and graduate women's studies or education courses.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801878800
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 237
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrea Hamilton teaches at Southern Methodist University.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Introduction 1
1 The Bryn Mawr vision : imagining a model school 5
2 Implementing the vision : from ideals to institutional realities 46
3 Transforming the vision : the Bryn Mawr school community and new educational ideals 85
4 An establishment vision : the Bryn Mawr school in the mid-twentieth century 122
5 Challenging the vision : broadening the independent school philosophy and constituency 143
6 Reinventing the vision : a school for girls 170
Conclusion 197
Notes 201
Index 229
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