ERIC Number: EJ911593
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 19
Fair and Tender Ladies versus Jim Crow: The Politics of Co-Education
Riley, Karen L.
American Educational History Journal, v37 n2 p407-417 2010
In the current vernacular, co-education means the education of the sexes together within an institutional setting. Once a phenomenon, today, women enjoy nearly equal status on campuses that were at one time bastions of "maleness." Moreover, the counter-culture revolution of the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, ushered in a new dimension of co-education aside from "mixed" classes (females/males), when student protests led to co-ed dormitories, an unthinkable arrangement only a few decades before. Yet, an older version or interpretation of co-education existed prior to the turn of the 20th century and well until the mid-century mark. What the literature uncovered was a definition of co-education that preceded the admission of females into institutions of higher education. The earlier definition of co-education referred to the education of Negroes and Whites within the same institution of higher education (Thompson 1945, 522). This writer became intrigued with the background literature on co-education, especially legal cases, that dealt with co-education as a racial issue rather than a gender issue. The racial issue was intriguing because it called into question if resistance to co-education of the sexes at the turn of the 20th century up to the mid-century mark, had, in fact, any foundation in the resistance to coeducation of the races following the Civil War. The presidents of two Virginia institutions, Mary Washington College and Madison College, approached the issue of co-education from quite different perspectives. Thus, the comparison and contrast of these two institutions serve as a lens through which one might view co-education in a broader context, one that involves any number of southern states, for nowhere was resistance to co-education stronger than in the south.
Descriptors: Coeducation, African American Students, White Students, Womens Education, Resistance (Psychology), Single Sex Colleges, School Segregation, Educational History, Politics of Education, State History
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia