Single Sex Girls'schools In The 1800s

1003 Words5 Pages
Jimin Kim
US History
Mr. William Carrigan
12/22/2014 2:00 PM (Due)

US History: Single Sex Girls’ Schools in the 1800s

In the 1800s, single sex girls’ schools in America adopted classical education that improved the status of women. Although single sex girls’ schools used to emphasize domestic roles or household skills to young women before the 19th century, they started to encourage their students to achieve advanced knowledge and participate in various fields of works. Classical education in girls-only schools had various advantages such as providing equal education, promoting self-empowerment, and avoiding supports of gender stereotypes. It eventually enhanced the status of women by improving social roles, increasing supports for women
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To begin with, it improved social roles of women in American society. Since single sex girls’ schools prepared their students to start careers after graduation, a number of graduates of girls-only schools earned occupations in various fields such as science, politics, arts, and literature. For example, Cissy Patterson, the alumni of Miss Porter’s School, became one of the most renowned woman journalists. Although most of her social activities were made in the early 1900s, she received education in the 1800s. On the other hand, Sarah Brown Ingersoll Cooper, the alumni of Emma Willard School, served as an educator and philanthropist. By teaching Bible School and working in women’s rights groups, she showed a successful social career. As Patterson and Cooper depict, effectual single sex education resulted in significant improvement of women’s social roles. The developed educational system also promoted further investment in women education. As a great number of women who were educated in all girls’ schools and were apparently interested in women education made a social success, they started to make investment in development of girls’ schools curricula. For instance, philanthropists Catherine Beecher and Olivia Sage argued and financially supported for the further education of women. Sage donated about $500,000 to accelerate establishment of Russell Sage College of Practical Arts in New York, in which women could learn industrial arts and secretarial works. At the same time, Beecher financially invested in establishment of American Educational Association that greatly advocated for women’s education. Beecher and Sage show that women who received fine education from single sex girls’ schools also became the investors and supporters of women’s education. The third influence of innovative girls’ education is that it provided wider economic opportunities to women. As a number of women were
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