University of Utah
Summer 2004
History of Women’s Education in the United States
Audrey Thompson
ECS 6616-001/7616-001/Gender Studies 5616-001
Office: 308C MBH
mailbox in 307 MBH
Office Hours: 
office phone 587-7803
Tu & W 3:00-5:15
meets M, W 5:15-8:15 p.m.
email:
and by appointment
in MBH 101

Overview

This class explores the history and philosophy of women’s education in the United States, focusing primarily on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. While to some extent the course uses the separation of the public and private spheres as a framework for analysis, it also problematizes that theoretical framework. Drawing on both primary and secondary sources, we will examine the social, economic, and ideological forces that have shaped education for women, investigate how women have struggled to define their own educational experience, and, more generally, ask how an exploration of gender, along with race, ethnicity, sexuality, and class can inform our understanding of the development of American education. Since scholars disagree about these issues, we will also examine how scholars interpret different topics in the history and philosophy of women’s education, how they try to explain events, how they use evidence, and how they present their findings.

Structure

The class will meet twice a week, each time discussing the readings on the syllabus. To participate actively in class, it is essential that you read carefully, prepare questions, and jot down any issues you wish to discuss. I will make short presentations to provide necessary background information. My primary role, however, will be to ask questions, clarify points raised in our discussions, and summarize the important issues that we discuss.

In the course of considering historical patterns and analyses, we will explicitly address such dimensions of scholarly reading and writing as how to read like a historian, how to read for absences, how to identify foils, how to read for the argument, how to write an analysis, how to organize and develop arguments, and how to write pedagogically.

The readings for the course include both primary and secondary sources (that is, original documents and scholarly interpretations). The following books are available for purchase at the University Bookstore and will be on reserve at the library.

Devon A. Mihesuah, Cultivating the Rosebuds: The Education of Women at the Cherokee Female Seminary, 1851-1909 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998).

Kathryn Kish Sklar, Catharine Beecher: A Study in American Domesticity (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1973).

Course Requirements

In addition to the assigned reading and class discussion, and two very short writing assignments (1-2 pages), there will be two papers due during the semester. The midterm paper should be 5-7 pages in length, typed and double-spaced. The final paper should be 8-10 pages long, typed and double-spaced. (There is no final exam.) All written work should be informed by class discussion and should demonstrate an understanding of the specific texts used in the course, while bringing to bear students’ own perspectives and insights.
 

Participation and attendance:
20% of grade
Short papers:
each 10% of grade (=20% total)
Midterm Paper:
25% of grade
Final paper:
35% of grade

Short papers: Each 2-page reaction paper should pick up on a theme that you found interesting in a particular set of readings (addressing at least two of the readings for any given day). There are no set dates for the short papers; you may choose any two sets of readings, and the reaction papers will be due on those days. Because the reaction papers should be informed by previous discussions, lectures, and readings in the course, you should not write them until the week that that set of readings is due for class.

Midterm paper topics: Drawing on at least 4 of the readings for the course, 1) Discuss the race, class, and gender dimensions of the feminization of teaching; 2) discuss the role of women in U.S. colonization, acculturation, and/or conversion projects; or 3) discuss women’s resistance to and creative appropriation of the educational projects imposed upon them by others. Other topics may also be possible, but please clear them with me beforehand.

Final paper: For the final paper, read a book (not already assigned for class) that takes up an aspect of the history of girls’ and/or women’s education in the U.S. in which you are particularly interested (e.g., rural schooling, immigrant students, women in teachers’ unions, lesbian teachers, deaf students, community or service learning, Mexican American mothers, religious education). The book you choose should be of scholarly quality, should be historical, and should focus specifically on women and education. Possible texts might include biographies of women educators, studies of particular educational institutions (which might include museums, homes for unwed mothers, colleges, literary clubs, political organizing settings, and finishing schools), and studies of educational movements. Please choose a book that you have not read before and check with me as to its appropriateness for the course. Some possible choices are listed in the selected bibliography at the end of the syllabus, but if you are interested in a particular era, person, or topic, you may want to search on the web or at the library for other titles, including the titles of dissertations. (If you decide to read a dissertation for this assignment, be sure to leave enough time to order it from interlibrary loan or UMI [University Microfilms International] or other dissertation publishers.)

The final paper should be 8-10 pages long and should discuss the major themes and insights of the book you have chosen in relation to at least three of the readings from the course. (Choose three readings that you did not discuss in your midterm paper.)

Two Notes on the Readings

Historical work is for the most part descriptive (and sometimes narrative), rather than theoretically dense: even when historical analysis employs a particular theoretical lens, it relies heavily on detailed description to demonstrate a particular pattern. Although the number of pages you read for a history class is likely to exceed the number you might read in a philosophy or pedagogical theory class, the reading assignments should take about the same amount of time to read, as they do not require the minute attention to argument that is called for in studying theoretically dense texts.

Although the syllabus is constructed to explore some of the racial and ethnic diversity in the history of women’s education in the U.S., you will find that the readings are heavily weighted towards the experiences of black and white and to a lesser extent American Indian women. Most historical work on the education of women has focused on blacks and whites; there is far less historical educational scholarship on American Indian women. The specifically historical and educational scholarship on Latina and Asian American women, using gender as a focal category, is minuscule (see attached bibliography). In class discussions, we will seek to problematize this imbalance, but we are likely to find ourselves hampered to some extent by the paucity of the available historical educational research on women other than African American, American Indian, and white women. In choosing a book for your final paper, some of you may wish to seek out an educationally focused biography of a woman from an under-represented group (including deaf women, religious minorities, lesbians, and working-class women, as well as racial and ethnic minorities), in order to further explore a particular under-researched aspect of the history of women’s education in the U.S.

Schedule of Class Topics and Reading

Mon. 28 June                    Citizenship and Civilization
Reading:

Note: This reading is on e-reserve. If you can read it in advance of the first class meeting, you will be able to give it a more careful reading. Although I will leave 45 minutes open at the beginning of this first class session for anyone who hasn’t had a chance to read it, to do so, I am hoping that many of you will be able to read the article in advance. If you have read it in advance, you will not need to come to class until 6:00 p.m. on this particular evening. Please email me at if you will have read the article in advance and plan not to arrive until 6:00 p.m. for this evening’s class.

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Wed. 30 June                     ‘Republican Motherhood’: Women’s Education in the Early Republic
Readings:

Reading/writing topics for discussion include: Reading for the foil, reading for the argument, writing a response paper

Small group work: Reading analytically

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Mon. 5 July                        Holiday: No school

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Wed. 7 July                        Education and Empire
Readings:

Reading topics for discussion include: Reading historically

Guest speaker: Dr. Harvey Kantor on reading like a historian

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Mon. 12 July                      The Feminization of Teaching
Readings:

Reading/writing topics for discussion include: Reading against the argument and/or evidence, reading for absences, writing thesis statements and outlines

Thesis statements and sentence outlines due (bring 5 copies)

Small group work: Revising thesis statements and outlines

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Wed. 14 July                         Cherokee Women and the Cult of True Womanhood
Readings:

Reading topics for discussion include: Reading for genre

Small group work: Comprehension and discussion questions

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Fri. 16 July
Midterm paper due by 6:00 p.m. (either hard copy or email attachment)

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Mon. 19 July                         Reading Day

Today there will be no class meeting, to allow you to begin reading the book you have chosen to study for the final paper.

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Wed. 21 July                         Education by and for African Americans
Readings:

Reading topics for discussion include: Alternative framings

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Mon. 26 July                         Vocational Education for Women
Readings:

Reading topics for discussion include: Binaries and threeing

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Wed. 28 July                         Women’s Education in the Twentieth Century:  Women and the Progressive Education Movement
Readings:

Reading and writing topics for discussion include: Theorizing

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Mon. 2 Aug.                         Feminization and Professionalization
Readings:

Reading topics for discussion include: Categories of analysis

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Wed. 4 Aug.                         Beyond the Classroom
Readings:

Writing topics for discussion include: Writing as a tool of inquiry

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Fri. 6 Aug.                         Final paper due 4:30 p.m. (either hard copy or email attachment)
 
 

Selected Reading List

James C. Albisetti, “American Women’s Colleges through European Eyes, 1865-1914,” History of Education Quarterly 32, no. 4 (Winter 1992): 439-58.

David F. Allmendinger, Jr., “Mount Hoyoke Students Encounter the Need for Life-Planning, 1837-1850,” History of Education Quarterly 19, no. 1 (Spring 1979): 27-46.

Deirdre A. Almeida, “The Hidden Half: A History of Native American Women’s Education,” Harvard Educational Review 67, no. 4 (Winter 1997): 757-71.

Nancy L. Arnez, “Selected Black Female Superintendents of Public School Systems,” Journal of Negro Education 51, no. 3 (Summer 1982): 309-17.

Nina Baym, “Women and the Republic: Emma Willard’s Rhetoric of History,” American Quarterly 43, no. 1 (March 1991): 1-23.

Nancy Beadie, “Emma Willard’s Idea Put to the Test: The Consequences of State Support of Female Education in New York, 1819-67,” History of Education Quarterly 33, no. 4 (Winter 1993): 543-62.

Barbara Beatty, “‘A Vocation from on High’: Kindergartning as an Occupation for American Women,” in Changing Education: Women as Radicals and Conservators, ed. Joyce Antler and Sari Knopp Biklen (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1990), 35-50.

Richard Bernard and Maris Vinovskis, “The Female School Teacher in Antebellum Massachusetts,” Journal of Social History 10 (Spring 1977): 322-45.

Mary Frances Berry, “Twentieth-Century Black Women in Education,” Journal of Negro Education 51, no. 3 (Summer 1982): 288-300.

Nancy E. Bertaux and M. Christine Anderson, “An Emerging Tradition of Educational Achievement: African American Women in College and the Professions, 1920-1950,” Equity and Excellence in Education 34, no. 2 (September 2001): 16-21.

Sari Knopp Biklen, “Confiding Woman: A Nineteenth-Century Teacher’s Diary,” History of Education Review 19 (1990): 24-35.

Sari Knopp Biklen, “The Progressive Education Movement and the Question of Women,” Teachers College Record 80 (December 1980).

Sari Knopp Biklen, “Willystine Goodsell,” in Women Educators in the United States, 1820-1993: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook, ed. Maxine Schwartz Seller (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994), 227-32.

Jackie M. Blount, Destined to Rule the Schools: Women and the Superintendency, 1873-1995 (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998).

Jackie M. Blount, “From Exemplar to Deviant: Same-Sex Relationships among Women Superintendents, 1909-1976,” Educational Studies 35, no. 2 (April 2004): 103-22.

Jackie M. Blount, “Manly Men and Womanly Women: Deviance, Gender Role Polarization, and the Shift in Women’s School Employment, 1900-1976,” Harvard Educational Review 66, no. 2 (Summer 1996): 318-38.

Stacy Braukman, “‘Nothing Else Matters but Sex’: Cold War Narratives of Deviance and the Search for Lesbian Teachers in Florida, 1959-1963,” Feminist Studies 27, no. 3 (Fall 2001): 553-75.

Richard M. Breaux, “‘Maintaining a Home for Girls’: The Iowa Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs at the University of Iowa, 1919-1950,” Journal of African American History 87, no. 2 (Spring 2002): 236-55.

Victoria Bissell Brown, “The Fear of Feminization: Los Angeles High Schools in the Progressive Era,” Feminist Studies 16, no. 3 (Fall 1990): 493-518.

Phillida Bunkle, “Sentimental Womanhood and Domestic Education, 1830-1870,” History of Education Quarterly 14, no. 1 (Spring 1974): 13-30.

Joan Burstyn, “Catharine Beecher and the Education of American Women,” New England Quarterly 47 (1974): 386-403.

Joan N. Burstyn, “Historical Perspectives on Women in Educational Leadership,” in Women and Educational Leadership, ed. Sari Knopp Biklen and Marilyn B. Brannigan (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books/D. C. Heath & Co., 1980), 65-75.

Ronald E. Butchart, “Mission Matters: Mount Holyoke, Oberlin, and the Schooling of Southern Blacks, 1861-1917,” History of Education Quarterly 42, no. 1 (Spring 2002): 1-17.

Ronald E. Butchart, “Recruits to the ‘Army of Civilization’: Gender, Race, Class, and the Freedmen’s Teachers, 1862-1875,” in Journal of Education 172, no. 3 (1990): 76-87.

Dan T. Carter and Amy Friedlander, “Introduction,” in Southern Women in the Recent Educational Movement in the South, by A. D. Mayo (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1978), xi-xxiii.

Patricia A. Carter, “Everybody’s Paid but the Teacher”:  The Teaching Profession and the Women’s Movement (New York:  Teachers College Press, 2002).

Ann Short Chirhart, “Carrying the Torch: African-American and White Female Teachers and Professional Culture in the Georgia Upcountry, 1920-1950,” in Silences and Images: The Social History of the Classroom, ed. Ian Grosvenor, Martin Lawn and Kate Rousmaniere (New York: Peter Lang, 1999), 217-34.

Suzanne Clark, “A Woman’s Place and the Rural School in the United States,” Genders 8 (July 1990): 78-90.

Geraldine Jonçich Clifford, “‘Marry, Stitch, Die, or Do Worse’: Educating Women for Work,” in Work, Youth, and Schooling: Historical Perspectives on Vocationalism in American Education, ed. Harvey Kantor and David B. Tyack (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1982): 223-68.

Geraldine Joncich Clifford, “‘Shaking Dangerous Questions From the Crease’: Gender and American Higher Education,” Feminist Issues 3, no. 2 (Fall 1983): 3-62.

Miriam Cohen, “Changing Education Strategies among Immigrant Generations: New York Italians in Comparative Perspective,” Journal of Social History 15 (Spring 1982): 443-66.

Bettye Collier-Thomas, “The Impact of Black Women in Education: An Historical Overview [Guest Editorial],” Journal of Negro Education 51, no. 3 (Summer 1982): 173-80.

Charlotte Williams Conable, Women at Cornell: The Myth of Equal Education (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1977).

Jill K. Conway, “Perspectives on the History of Women’s Education in the United States,” History of Education Quarterly 14, no. 1 (Spring 1974): 1-12.

Mary Hurlbut Cordier, Schoolwomen of the Prairies and Plains:  Personal Narratives from Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska, 1860s–1920s (Albuquerque:  University of New Mexico Press, 1992).

Nancy F. Cott, The Bonds of Womanhood:  “Women’s Sphere” in New England, 1780–1835 (New Haven:  Yale University Press, 1977).

Debbie Mauldin Cottrell, Pioneer Woman Educator: The Progressive Spirit of Annie Webb Blanton (College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 1993).

Margaret Smith Crocco, Petra Munro, and Kathleen Weiler, Pedagogies of Resistance: Women Educator Activists, 1880-1960 (New York: Teachers College Press, 1999).

Barbara M. Cross, ed., The Educated Woman in America: Selected Writings of Catharine Beecher, Margaret Fuller, and M. Carey Thomas (New York: Teachers College Press, 1965).

Pero Gaglo Dagbovie, “Black Women, Carter G. Woodson, and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, 1915-1950,” Journal of African American History 88 (Winter 2003): 21-41.

Sadie Iola Daniel, Women Builders (Washington, DC: Associated Publishers, 1931). Also: Sadie Iola Daniel, Women Builders, rev. and enlarged by Charles H. Wesley and Thelma D. Perry (Washington, DC: Associated Publishers, 1970). Original reprinted in Sadie Iola Daniel, Women Builders, and Hallie Q. Brown, Tales My Father Told: Pen Pictures of Pioneers of Wilberforce, ed. Henry Louis Gates, intro. Robin Kilson (New York: G. K. Hall, 1997). [facsimile book for young people]

John Dewey, “Is Coeducation Injurious to Girls?” Ladies Home Journal 28 (June 1911): 22, 60-61.

Lynda F. Dickson, “Lifting as We Climb: African American Women’s Clubs of Denver, 1890-1925,” Essays in Colorado History 13 (1992): 69-98. Reprinted as: Lynda F. Dickson, “Lifting as We Climb: African American Women’s Clubs of Denver, 1880-1925,” in Writing the Range: Race, Class, and Culture in the Women’s West, ed. Elizabeth Jameson and Susan Armitage (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997), 372-92.

David Diepenbrock, “Black Women and Oberlin College in the Age of Jim Crow,” UCLA Historical Journal 13 (1993): 27-59.

Gretchen A. Duling, Oral Life Histories of One-Room Schoolhouse Teachers: Voices from the Recitation Bench (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1997).

Mary Ann Dzuback, “Women and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College, 1915-40,” History of Education Quarterly 33, no. 4 (Winter 1993): 579-608.

Linda Eisenmann, ed., Historical Dictionary of Women’s Education in the United States (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998).

Linda Eisenmann, “Reconsidering a Classic: Assessing the History of Women’s Higher Education a Dozen Years after Barbara Solomon,” Harvard Educational Review 67, no. 4 (Winter 1997): 689-717.

Lisa E. Emmerich, “‘Save the Babies!’ American Indian Women, Assimilation Policy, and Scientific Motherhood, 1912-1918,” in Writing the Range: Race, Class, and Culture in the Women’s West, ed. Elizabeth Jameson and Susan Armitage (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997), 393-409.

Robert E. Engel, “Willystine Goodsell: Feminist and the Reconstructionist Educator,” Vitae Scholastica: The Bulletin of Education Biography 3, no. 2 (Fall 1984): 355-80.

Stanley L. Falk, “The Warrenton Female Academy of Jacob Mordecai,” The North Carolina Historical Review 35, no. 3 (July 1958): 281-98.

John Mack Faragher and Florence Howe, eds., Women and Higher Education in American History (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1988).

Barbara Finkelstein, Governing the Young: Teacher Behavior in Popular Primary Schools in Nineteenth-Century United States (New York: Falmer Press, 1989).

Barbara Finkelstein, “The Moral Dimensions of Pedagogy: Teaching Behavior in Popular Primary Schools in Nineteenth-Century America,” American Studies 15 (Fall 1974): 79-89.

Barbara L. Finkelstein, “Pedagogy as Intrusion: Teaching Values in Popular Primary Schools in Nineteenth-Century America,” History of Childhood Quarterly 1 (Winter 1974): 349-78.

Kathryn Fitzgerald, “A Rediscovered Tradition: European Pedagogy and Composition in Nineteenth-Century Midwestern Normal Schools,” College Composition and Communication 53, no. 2 (December 2001): 224-50.

Michael Flusche, “Antislavery and Spiritualism: Myrtilla Miner and Her School,” New York Historical Society Quarterly 59, no. 2 (April 1975): 149-72.

Philip S. Foner and Josephine F. Pacheco, Three Who Dared: Prudence Crandall, Margaret Douglass, Myrtilla Miner — Champions of Antebellum Black Education (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1984).

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