Leading the Way: Amy Morris Homans and the Beginnings of Professional Education for Women


"Spears has given readers an important study of Amy Morris Homans, a pioneer of rigorous physical education for women's bodies. Homans cofounded one of the first training academies for physical education teachers, the Boston Normal School of Gymnastics (BNSG), and lobbied for the introduction of the Swedish-style of gymnastics into public schools. She later arranged the merger of BNSG with Wellesley College, and promoted the formation of local, state, and national organizations of women physical educators. Homans had destroyed many of her papers and letters, wishing her contributions to speak for themselves. Spears creatively weaves student memories with material from BNSG and Wellesley to put together a description of Homans's roles. Homans was not the only pioneer, but she in many ways typified the movement, and commanded attention by her personal style and the quality of her progams and students. An excellent introduction to the history of American programs for the physical education of women. College and university libraries." - Choice