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Women's Work?: American Schoolteachers, 1650-1920

reviewed by Anne Meis Knupfer - 2002

coverTitle: Women's Work?: American Schoolteachers, 1650-1920
Author(s): Joel Perlmann & Robert A. Margo
Publisher: University of Chicago Press, Chicago
ISBN: 0226660397 , Pages: 192, Year: 2001
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In the preface to Women's Work?, Joel Perlmann and Robert Margo state that their intention is to look at the history of the feminization of teaching in "new ways." These new ways include the analyses of economic and demographic influences, especially structural differences in regional labor markets. Toward this end, they rely upon rich and varied archival sources: census schedules from 1860 and 1880; federal and state education reports; and city school reports for biographical details, salaries, and positions of teachers. They attempt to connect these institutional data to cultural and social histories to more fully explain the gendered nature of teaching. Their quantitative approach, especially the statistical analyses in four of the book's appendices, brings new perspectives to the literature on female teachers. However, their interpretations would be better served through fuller engagement with the historical scholarship to date. Chapter One examines the first two hundred years of teacher education in the United States. Relying too heavily upon a 1914 dissertation of Walter Small that refutes... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 104 Number 5, 2002, p. 1027-1029
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10809, Date Accessed: 6/2/2020 5:11:36 PM

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About the Author
  • Anne Knupfer
    Purdue University
    E-mail Author
    Anne Meis Knupfer is Associate Professor in Educational Studies at Purdue University, where she teaches history and philosophy of education. Her book publications include Toward A Tenderer Humanity and A Nobler Womanhood: African American Women's Clubs in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago (New York University Press) and Reform and Resistance: Gender, Delinquency, and American's First Juvenile Court (Routledge). She is currently working on a book about African-American women's activism during Chicago's Black Renaissance.
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