Those Good Gertrudes: A Social History of Women Teachers in America

Those Good Gertrudes: A Social History of Women Teachers in America

by Geraldine J. Clifford

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Overview

The definitive book on women teachers in America, told in their own voices.

Those Good Gertrudes explores the professional, civic, and personal roles of women teachers throughout American history. Its voice, themes, and findings build from the mostly unpublished writings of many women and their families, colleagues, and pupils. Geraldine J. Clifford studied personal history manuscripts in archives and consulted printed autobiographies, diaries, correspondence, oral histories, interviews—even film and fiction—to probe the multifaceted imagery that has surrounded teaching.

This broad ranging, inclusive, and comparative work surveys a long past where schoolteaching was essentially men's work, with women relegated to restricted niches such as teaching rudiments of the vernacular language to young children and socializing girls for traditional gender roles. Clifford documents and explains the emergence of women as the prototypical schoolteachers in the United States, a process apparent in the late colonial period and continuing through the nineteenth century, when they became the majority of American public and private schoolteachers.

The capstone of Clifford’s distinguished career and the definitive book on women teachers in America, Those Good Gertrudes will engage scholars in the history of education and women’s history, teachers past, present, and future, and readers with vivid memories of their own teachers.



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421419794
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 496
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

The first woman to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship for research in education, Geraldine J. Clifford is professor emerita at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Lone Voyagers: Academic Women in Coeducational Institutions, 1870–1937.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

1 "It Is Well That Women Should Be Unlettered": Before Teaching School Was "Women's Work" 1

2 "School Dames in Each Quarter": America's Army of Gertrudes 20

3 "A Sisterhood of Instruction, Essential to the World's Progress": Societal Pressures and Women's Opportunities, 1700-1900 45

4 "Overflowing from the Domestic Circle": Individual and Family Factors in Choosing to Teach 73

5 "An Honorable Breadwinning Weapon": Who Became Teachers? 96

6 "The Presiding Genius of His Home and Heart": Her Marital Status and Domestic Arrangements 121

7 "In the Mind's Eye": Images and Expectations of the Teacher 147

8 "Higher Prospects for a Useful Life": The Teacher as Trained Professional 174

9 "Laboring Conscientiously, Though Perhaps Obscurely": Certain Realities of Being a Teacher 201

10 "The Great Perplexities of the Teacher-Life" Gertrudes Talk and Their Pupils Reminisce 229

11 "That Our Daughters May Be as Cornerstones": Women Teachers and Messianic America 256

12 "The Feast of Reason and Flow of Soul": The Political Rights and Civic Duties of Women 288

13 "A Lady Well Qualified to Show the Way": Widening Women's Work 316

Notes 347

An Essential Reference Guide 437

Archives Consulted for the Good Gertrudes Project 439

Index 443

Illustrations appear following page 120 and on page 309.

What People are Saying About This

"Those ‘Good Gertrudes’—the women who dedicated some part of their lives to teaching—finally have a great historian to tell this important, missing story. Professor Geraldine J. Clifford has brought together an intense combination of extended research, fresh archival information, and the insightful interpretation that only wisdom can bring to scholarship. This stands as a landmark work in the social history of education."

Donald Warren

Clifford’s colleagues around the world have long anticipated Those Good Gertrudes. They will find the wait exceedingly worthwhile. The book’s scope and depth can now incite new generations of students to reflect on and investigate the repercussions of teaching and learning—activities still driven essentially by women both in the U.S. and globally.

John R. Thelin

Those ‘Good Gertrudes’—the women who dedicated some part of their lives to teaching—finally have a great historian to tell this important, missing story. Professor Geraldine J. Clifford has brought together an intense combination of extended research, fresh archival information, and the insightful interpretation that only wisdom can bring to scholarship. This stands as a landmark work in the social history of education.

Donald R. Warren

"Clifford’s colleagues around the world have long anticipated Those Good Gertrudes. They will find the wait exceedingly worthwhile. The book’s scope and depth can now incite new generations of students to reflect on and investigate the repercussions of teaching and learning—activities still driven essentially by women both in the U.S. and globally."

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