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Feminists, like Christine Pizan, who stressed the importance of female education and some of her male feminist contemporaries would mainly remain on the fringes as the classical form of education was reaffirmed as the standard.
In the 1970s, much of the challenge to female education was answered as the tradition of educating all people was accepted early in the development of the U.S. educations system, though it was not an easy transition and according to most inequalities still existed even in the late modern era. In fact there was no official federal department of education until 1979, yet this did not stop the progress of education.
Stallings 677) the marked entrance of women into higher education is thought by most people to be the beginning of the end for male exclusive education but pre-secondary education was available for women from the early part of the foundation of education as a community responsibility in America. (Townsend 712) Though initial involvement of women in secondary education was segregated and even those achieving degrees in non-female traditional fields, such as medicine usually attended secondary schools separately. It was in fact in the 1970s that the greatest scholarship with regard to women in education began to become institutionally accepted, as an outgrowth of the civil rights movement, no doubt. (Furniss and Graham) This is despite a tradition of a majority female teaching force in education in the U.S. "In 1888, an investigator reporting to the Association for the Advancement of Women declared that, whereas 67% of the teachers in the country were women, only 4% of those with administrative responsibility were women."
Grumet 38) Though as can be seen above women were not accepted as administrators, principles and education officials, no doubt the reasons they were late in representation for equal education. "In 1870, women constituted 60% of the nation's teachers; by 1900, 70%; by 1910, 80%. 37 Figures from the mid-1970s indicate that 67.1% of all teachers are women."
In the 1970s Dan Lortie's research identified these three themes within the ethos of American classroom teachers: individualism, conservatism, and presentism. 59 the familial and economic situations of the young women who took over the classrooms provided the context for all three of these conditions.
The evolution of female education had a long standing history in the American tradition as even the suffragists were arguing for greater opportunities in education for women. Though the tradition continued in a slow expansion of opportunities through individuals like Emma Willard.
The Diffusion of Feminist Values from the Troy Female Seminary (1979), tracked the way in which women's academies, such as Emma Willard's school in upstate New York, created a ripple effect throughout the country, as women pupils became teachers and spread the gospel of female education.
Clinton, and Lunardini 10)
Elizabeth palmer Peabody, also a great name in the fight for education for women was an advocate of self-education, and a writer of great accord who fought to expand education for women and influenced others to include women.
Von Mehren 52) Jane Adams, a prominent social worker also advocated for equality in education for women and moved many into the 1970s to eradicate sexist policy and practices in both education employment and also in the curriculum itself.
Though the modern expression of education through ideals such as hands on learning and project or portfolio-based learning which acknowledge that learning styles differ among people, not just between men and women and stand away from the banking system of education, where lecture is emphasized and the teacher and the learner do not cross express did not begin until the 1980s and 90s the 70s transformed the education system. The current challenges to the banking system of education have recently been hampered by the introduction of accountability education, where information is again judged by the ability to reiterate it in written form on a test, changes have obviously resulted in a diversity, not before present in education and educators from the 1970s, both men and women are instrumental in this fight.
Brown-Grant, Rosalind. Christine de Pizan and the Moral Defence of Women: Reading beyond Gender. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
Clark, Donald Lemen. John Milton at St. Paul's School: A Study of Ancient Rhetoric in English Renaissance Education. New York: Columbia University Press, 1948.
Clinton, Catherine, and Christine Lunardini. The Columbia Guide to American Women in the Nineteenth Century. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.
Furniss, W. Todd, and Patricia Albjerg Graham, eds. Women in Higher Education. Washington, DC: American Council on Education, 1974.
Greer, Colin. The Great School Legend: A Revisionist Interpretation of American Public Education. New York: Basic Books, 1972.
Grumet, Madeleine R. Bitter Milk: Women and Teaching. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1988.
Kennedy, George a. Classical Rhetoric & Its Christian & Secular Tradition from Ancient to Modern Times. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1999.
Pantziara, Nicoletta. "From Ancient to Modern: Greek Women's Struggle for Equality." Social Education 67.1 (2003): 28.
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