Women in American Education, 1820-1955: The Female Force and Educational Reform

Women in American Education, 1820-1955: The Female Force and Educational Reform

Women in American Education, 1820-1955: The Female Force and Educational Reform

Women in American Education, 1820-1955: The Female Force and Educational Reform

Synopsis

Recounts the remarkable achievements of women who dared to defy customs, break legal barriers, and endure hardship and discrimination in order to provide education for girls, young children, female teachers, homemakers, disabled students, the immigrant poor, and African American youth--the people excluded from traditional institutions of their day. Excerpts from the women's own writings are provided as well as discussion of their unique teaching methods.

Excerpt

A contemporary term called Constructivism is widely accepted in educational theory as the best means of engendering true education. To understand subject matter and make meaningful connections, students build on prior knowledge, do open-ended research, solve problems, take risks, experiment, create, draw conclusions, and apply what they have learned to new situations. Active engagement is the key. In this method of learning, students assume much more responsibility than in traditional classrooms and often work in small groups. They participate in community life and contribute useful service. The teacher's role, although still crucial, shifts from center stage to that of guide, facilitator, motivator, and friend.

Constructivist reforms are indeed an excellent infusion into modern-day schools, but the methods involved are not at all new. The focus of this book is on eight women who successfully utilized many of these practices in earlier times and made significant contributions not only to American education but to society as a whole. They were not the first or only ones, of course. Predecessors and contemporaries such as Jan Comenius, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Johann Pestalozzi, Friedrich Froebel, John Dewey, Booker T.

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