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ERIC Number: EJ804336
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
The Ambiguity of Professing Gender: Women Educationists and New Education in the Netherlands (1890-1940)
van Drenth, Annemieke; van Essen, Mineke
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v44 n4 p379-396 Aug 2008
In this paper the concept of gender script is applied to examine the cases of two women educationists trying to construct a professional "self" in confrontation with gender scripts that constantly recited meanings of gender, in particular of femininity. The research focus is on the period 1890-1940, when in the Netherlands, like abroad, New Education became influential, also in the developing field of Child Studies, in which women educationists were prominent. The two cases in this paper show how negotiating the gender script on professionalism in the field of education and educational sciences, for example by professing gender as a starting point for participation, made women's role in the educational sciences a complicated and delicate one. The first example is taken from the domain of schools. Between 1890 and 1920 the participation of women in primary education greatly increased. Despite a rather marginal female participation in teacher education and in professional organisations, the increasing numbers of teachers must have had an impact on women educationists and their professional confidence. How contradictory this impact was is first analysed in the work and career of Ietje Kooistra (1861-1923). The second example concentrates on women's roles in the first Dutch institutions for the care and education of children with mental disabilities. Although often invisible in the official structure of these institutions, women formed an important part of the staff of these institutions, as both caretakers and nurses, and within the educational staff. Moreover, women were able to put their marks on the educational atmosphere within institutions and to influence the first construction of methods and tools used in this context. The example is that of the nun Ida Frye (1909-2003). Her case shows how, before the Second World War, it was very problematic to obtain any professional esteem as a woman within the educational sciences. This is despite Frye's important work that contributed to the development of the domain of special education in the Netherlands. Both cases show woman educationists who, although sometimes unwillingly, professed gender in their scholarly careers. Thus, they negotiated the gender script in order to open up a career of their own, which, however, in neither of the two cases ended as the story of an academic heroine. (Contains 68 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands