Women have always served as the primary educators
of children. Even in the earliest days of America the public viewed
teaching an acceptable profession for women. Connecticuts
famous female educators included Sarah Porter and Catharine Beecher,
who both supported advancements in the education of women; Prudence
Crandall, who attempted to run a private school for African-American
girls; and Edythe Taylor, first black teacher in Hartfords
Public School System.
Fishtown Schoolhouse, Mystic.
Between 1880 and 1910
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Becoming a teacher
was another option for young women hoping to earn wages and independence.
Most rural towns had one-room schoolhouses in which children were
taught by women or men who had completed a course of schooling
that qualified them to teach. This teaching course was sometimes
called normal school.
Mary Emily Nobles first Class
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Mary Emily Noble began teaching at age twenty-three
and continued for thirty-two years until she was fifty-five. She
is a typical example of a woman who dedicated her life to the
education of children.
Sarah Porter Reading
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Sarah Porter was the founder of Miss Porters
School, a female seminary for young women. The young women at
this school were generally from the upper class and they were
educated in arts, music, literature as well as household management
and other practical skills to prepare young women to be mothers
Women At Work
Women on Farms
Factories and Unskilled Wage Labor
Church and Charities
Improved Educational Opportunities for Women
White Collar Employment
Women in War
Women in Music, Art, Literature
Suggestions for further reading