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ERIC Number: EJ768598
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 37
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
Socioeconomic Incentives to Teach in New York and North Carolina: Toward a More Complex Model of Teacher Labor Markets, 1800-1850
Tolley, Kim; Beadie, Nancy
History of Education Quarterly, v46 n1 p36-72 Spr 2006
Much good work has recently been done on the socioeconomic history of teaching in the United States, particularly in relation to the "feminization" of the profession that occurred over the course of the nineteenth century. This article brings together evidence from disparate local sources in both North Carolina and New York to explore the structure of teacher labor markets during the years from 1800 to 1850. Among the sources examined are hundreds of newspaper advertisements for venture schools and academies in North Carolina and detailed school and teacher employment records for one rural New York town. Considered in conjunction with scattered comparative material from other primary and secondary sources for those states, this evidence leads the authors to challenge several key assumptions and suggest a few new lines of inquiry about regional variations in teacher employment, socioeconomic incentives for teachers, and the gender transformation of teaching in the early nineteenth century. The authors have chosen both New York and North Carolina as subjects of study, not only to compare and contrast women's entry into teaching in both regions but also to analyze some of the factors that motivated women to travel from the North to the South to teach. The authors argue that, in addition to the ideological and cultural factors historians have documented, socioeconomic incentives influenced young women to take up teaching in both the North and the South. The article is organized in three main parts. In the first section, the authors look at women's entry into teaching during the early decades of the nineteenth century in both northern and southern contexts. In the second section, the authors investigate the salaries paid to female teachers in comparison to wages available to women in other forms of paid work. In the third section, the authors hypothesize a model of teacher-labor markets and opportunity structures for women in the early antebellum era by looking at salary trends over time, highlighting comparisons between male and female teachers, and exploring differences between the opportunities available in northern and southern schools and economies. This analysis leads the authors to pose new questions about the interaction of teacher labor markets, the state, and schools. It also illuminates some of the reasons that may have impelled northern women to travel south to teach in the early nineteenth century. (Contains 2 figures, 7 tables and 71 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York; North Carolina; United States