Chapter

Introduction

in Women's Work?

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2001 | ISBN: 9780226660394
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226660417 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226660417.003.0001
Introduction

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During the course of the nineteenth century, teaching in American primary schools came to be regarded as women's work. In the 1920s, when the figure peaked, over 90 percent of primary schoolteachers were women; and by the 1990s—after decades of transformation in schools, families, women's education, and women's work—that percentage had changed but little. Before teaching became women's work on a national scale, other widespread and enduring regularities influenced the relative use of female teachers. Whether the teacher would be a man or a woman varied from country to city, indeed from summer to winter; and, most fundamentally, it varied by region. Moreover, while these earlier, regional patterns endured for decades, they did change over centuries. This book describes these regional gender patterns of employment in teaching; it tries to explain how these patterns came about, evolved, and eventually declined—declined so fully that today they are all but unknown, except to a few specialists who have observed one or another part of this history.

Keywords: primary schools; women's work; American schools; primary schoolteachers; women teachers; employment pattern

Chapter.  4217 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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