ERIC Number: EJ863690
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 16
Why Men Left: Reconsidering the Feminization of Teaching in the Nineteenth Century
Montgomery, Sarah E.
American Educational History Journal, v36 n1 p219-236 2009
In this essay, the author provides a critique of sources relevant to the feminization of teaching in the United States from the mid- to late-nineteenth century. Sources covering topics such as the American Civil War, labor market forces, increasing urbanization, educational reform, and regional differences, and how they affected the feminization of teaching, are considered. While secondary sources are of primary focus, autobiographical works of women teachers during the period of study are also examined. The dominant narrative regarding the feminization of teaching in the United States centers on women's willingness to work for low wages, which encouraged men to pursue better paying professional endeavors. The present essay challenges this notion, suggesting that, contrary to popular belief, teaching was a financially viable option for young men, but many men considered teaching to be a part-time professional endeavor. Consequently, as the field of education became increasingly professionalized during the late-nineteenth century, men chose other fulltime jobs, while many women were actively invested in teaching as a meaningful career.
Descriptors: Females, War, Labor Market, Educational Change, Males, Urbanization, Salary Wage Differentials, Work Attitudes, Autobiographies, Enrollment, Demography, Migration, Educational History
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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