Women's Education in the United States, 1780-1840 / Edition 1

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Margaret Nash's groundbreaking Women's Education in the United States, 1780-1840 examines education from the early national period through the formation of the institutions that are widely recognized as the forerunners of the women's college movement. Nash argues that in this period education was not as strongly gendered as other historians have posited. The rising rhetoric of human rights, Enlightenment thought, and evangelical Christianity, in an age of dynamic economic change, helped build a broad ideological base for the spread of female education. Education was key to the project of class formation, and Nash contends that class and race were more salient than gender in the construction of educational institutions. Women's Education in the United States, 1780-1840 is an essential text for all courses in the field of education and will change the way we all think about the history of higher learning.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"'Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested,' Francis Bacon wrote in one of his famous essays. At the very least, Margaret A. Nash's study of women and American higher education should be savored, since Women's Education in the United States, 1780-1840 is an intellectual treat. Long before colleges and universities admitted women, a growing variety of academies, institutes, and seminaries opened the higher learning to a small but significant cohort of white middle class students. Nash's elegant book brings to life the social, economic, and political forces that shaped these institutions during their formative decades. And she uncovers the diverse impulses, including the sheer love of learning, that drove women to seek advanced studies. Scholars who think they understand the story of women and higher education in its earliest manifestations are in for a surprise. Nash has set a new standard in her field."--William J. Reese, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403969385
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 4/16/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret A. Nash is Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the Graduate School of Education, University of California, Riverside. She teaches courses on the history of education, history of curriculum, and gender and education. Her research has appeared in the History of Education Quarterly, the Journal of the Early Republic, and the History of Higher Education Annual.

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Table of Contents

• "Is Not Woman a Human Being?" Discourses on Education in the Early National Period
• "Cultivating the Powers of Human Beings": Curriculum and Pedagogy in Schools and Academies in the New Republic
• Female Education and the Emergence of the "Middling Classes"
• "Perfecting Our Whole Nature": Intellectual and Physical Education
• Possibilities and Limitations: Education and White Middle-Class Womanhood

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