This thesis argues that the feminization of teaching occurred during the early national period in the United States as a result of a “deliberate reconciliation” of teaching and gendered norms for women’s work in a process that was gradual, generational, and built over time from the inside out. Early American female teachers, and not male reformers, facilitated the reconciliation process, which can be understood as a series of three overlapping stages. In the first stage, women established female academies as extensions of their homes. In the second stage, those female academies implemented apprenticeship programs for training their students as teachers. In the third stage, a second generation of women from those female academies became teachers in schools across the country or began their own educational establishments. Several well-known female educators, including Catharine Beecher and Emma Willard, provide evidence of this process.


Baumgartner, Kabria




United States History | Women's History


United States, women's work, teaching, history of education, Emma Willard, Catharine Beecher, early national period, women's education, female academies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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