Women In American Education, 1820-1955

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Overview

The lives and contributions of eight female educators who influenced modern American schools are described, as well as the historical context in which the women lived and worked. These women challenged the male establishment, broke barriers, and utilized techniques heralded today as radical reforms, such as teacher facilitation, student initiative, active learning, meaning construction, and practical applications of knowledge. They stressed open-ended research, creativity, and the integration of subject matter, and they promoted critical thinking, peer cooperation, and shared teacher/student decision-making. The women's methods were radical in their own day, and in many ways still are.

The female reformers described in this book opened the doors of education to the larger public, often working with people excluded from traditional institutions, including females, the very young, the mentally disabled, immigrants of all ages, homemakers, and African-American youth. Without government subsidy, most of these educators had to work with meager resources and constantly raise money for their schools and other projects by giving speeches, writing books and articles, soliciting wealthy donors, and even organizing bazaars and bake sales. With enormous confidence in the worth of their endeavors, they persevered despite many hardships and gave their entire lives to creating new educational and career opportunities.

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Meet the Author

JUNE EDWARDS is Professor of Education, SUNY-College of Oneonta.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1 Catharine Beecher: Educating Girls, Homemakers, and Teachers 1
2 Elizabeth Palmer Peabody: Educating Young Children 21
3 Elizabeth Blackwell: Medical and Physical Education for Females 41
4 Ellen Swallow Richards: Science Education for School, Home and Society 57
5 Jane Addams: Educating the Immigrant Poor 75
6 Maria Montessori: Educating Children for Independence 91
7 Mary McLeod Bethune: Educating African-American Youth 111
8 Helen Parkhurst: Educating for Responsibility with the Dalton Plan 129
Index 151
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