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Educating Women for a Changing World

Educating Women for a Changing World

Kate Hevner Mueller
Copyright Date: 1954
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 312
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  • Book Info
    Educating Women for a Changing World
    Book Description:

    Educating Women for a Changing World was first published in 1954. Scores of books and articles have been written about the problems, the needs, and the potentialities of modern women. What can education do to solve these problems? Shall we give women the same education as men? Shall we educate women for family responsibilities or for work outside the home? In presenting her philosophy and basic program for women’s education, Mrs. Mueller stresses the fact that women are not alike -- that their differences, in fact, overshadow their similarities. She contends, therefore, that no one kind of education is suitable for all women. In their infinite variety, women present a multitude of different hopes and interests and aptitudes, all to be included in educational patterns which will contribute to the fullest development of their lives. And the woman of the future will be called upon to play multiple roles, Mrs. Mueller points out, as she emphasizes the need for an educational program that will prepare women for careers in both the office and the home and as citizens of the community, the nation, and the world. Women and the world they live in are constantly changing, Mrs. Mueller reminds us, in an analysis of the conflicts between men and women that arise from social change. In separate chapters she discusses education for earning, for dating and mating, for homemaking, for politics, for citizenship, and for leisure.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6376-7
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Preface
    (pp. v-viii)
    K. H. M.
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. 1 The Need for Perspective
    (pp. 3-22)

    Men, in the four thousand odd years that they have assumed the major responsibility for the world, have preferred to solve women’s problems by cliché and proverb. Women, the other, the weaker, the fair, the lost, the second sex, fit better into sonnets than into politics, look better in halos and furbelows than in togas or mortarboards or epaulets. Crowned as “earth’s noblest thing,” “her beauty is like music,” “she moves a goddess and she looks a queen.” No room for human problems among the classic attributes of such celestial bodies.

    Women do have one thing in common with the...

  5. 2 The Question of Sex Differences
    (pp. 23-42)

    All the problems peculiar to women’s education arise out of the differences between the sexes, whether these be imagined or real, and no effective compromises or lasting progress can be achieved without a sound knowledge of them. But how many parents or educators have an adequate working knowledge of the fundamental facts about physical (fairly easy to learn), psychological (difficult), and sociological (extremely difficult) differences between men and women? The hard-won data from the laboratory are too often embalmed in a monograph or impaled on a footnote for storage in the library vaults. There is occasional lively discussion of their...

  6. 3 Social Change and Sex Conflict
    (pp. 43-63)

    The busy little lasses of the 1850s were not to be found on a college campus, seldom even in public high school, but they were not without counsel. They read profusely, if we may judge from the reported sales of theLetter Writersand etiquette books and the number of them still to be found in old attics and antiquarian book shops.

    Nothing could better epitomize the social self-consciousness of the emerging bourgeosie than these widely read admonitions. Forerunners of the later newspaper columns of advice to the lovelorn, fashions, and household hints, they standardized for their eager readers the...

  7. 4 Education for Earning
    (pp. 64-91)

    If we were to choose the outstanding problem among the many which women face today, it would certainly be that of women’s employment. This issue affects all the other attitudes, frustrations, and maladjustments in the life of the modern woman.

    The lack of genuine parity in employment is by all odds the most sensitive point of controversy, the basic grievance of women, and it evokes the greatest antagonism and resentment from men as well as from that most helpful ally of the men’s point of view, the contented housewife. The man whose pay check supports the family and the woman...

  8. 5 Education for Dating and Mating
    (pp. 92-115)

    For youth, interest in sex is insistent and dominating, with strong emotional overtones; for the older generation, this interest is more marginal and occasional, subject to management and direction. Because of the divergence in orientation—toward experimentation and expression by the one group and toward control and education by the other—unusual subtlety and skill are called for on the part of educators. Otherwise they will seem arbitrary and unsympathetic, which may cause the younger members of society to become frustrated or rebellious. Furthermore, the subject is one which cannot be side-stepped in an educational program for youth; training for...

  9. 6 Education for Homemaking
    (pp. 116-143)

    If there are any doubts about the significance of the home economics movement in the unfolding of our American culture, a few paragraphs from any of the magazines or manuals of the 1850s should dispel them. Recipes were chatty little conversation pieces, vague but gently encouraging in tone. Everything was very ladylike, free of the quantitative details which burden the mind and smack of science and the schoolroom. Here are just a few items from the pages of yesteryear:

    Muffins. With warm milk, a liberal allowance of yeast, flour, a little salt, and an egg or two, make dough a...

  10. 7 Education for Citizenship
    (pp. 144-164)

    If it is to flourish, a democracy must have an informed citizenry and able leaders. In theory, therefore, the schools would be expected to provide every student with a knowledge of his duties and privileges as a citizen and to induce the more able to carry the larger responsibilities of political leadership.

    But there is a wide chasm between educational theory and actual accomplishment in this field of citizenship. The momentum and high purpose generated by the deep convictions of educational leaders often seem to be dissipated long before they reach the student in the classroom. On the campus the...

  11. 8 Education for Politics
    (pp. 165-179)

    Women are in politics whether they know it or not, for there is no way to escape participation if only on the voting level. Work at the next higher level—the small volunteer jobs in the parties or in the women’s groups—is often peculiarly appropriate for the young married woman. The limited responsibilities and the flexible working hours may come just at the time when she is much preoccupied with her children and not able to undertake any full-time activities that would take her out of the home regularly.

    There are also many women who are fitted by temperament...

  12. 9 Education for Leisure
    (pp. 180-209)

    To beeducatedfor leisure, to be instructed and disciplined for the rapturous and spontaneous play hours—what a paradox that must seem to the school child who forgets that he has ever fretted on a rainy day, “What can I do?” or that he complained to his “progressive” teacher, “Do we have to do what we want to do today?” But pleasurable spontaneity is always the final stage, not the beginning, of the learning process. Only after long study and discipline does the learner achieve the mastery that frees him for improvisation, for impulsive creation.

    Everything must be learned,...

  13. 10 Women’s Education and Education in General
    (pp. 210-232)

    The Report of the President’s Commission on Higher Education, the Harvard Report, the Columbia Experiment, the Eight-Year Plan, and countless other studies on who should be educated in this divided world all testify to the magnitude of our present educational problems. The functions of education have changed, and are still changing almost too precipitously for the layman to follow. Education formerly provided the ladder whereby a few privileged or gifted individuals might climb to fame and sometimes fortune; now it serves as the tremendous elevator, expensively and ponderously mechanized, whereby whole classes of people are hoisted to higher standards of...

  14. 11 Planning Curriculums for Women
    (pp. 233-254)

    The schemes which are now bandied about in educational circles will eventually merge into something which the perceptive observer will recognize as a trend—something half perceived and half created in the observer’s own mind. And as time rolls on, the developing trend toward a new status for both men and women will gain such momentum that our present quandaries will seem very quaint and trivial, the evasions and prejudices of our current thinking all the more devious.

    In the meantime, many women—students, mothers, teachers, and counselors—are daily forced into action on women’s education. The rank and file...

  15. 12 Choosing a College and a Curriculum
    (pp. 255-290)

    The selection of a college is a critical decision for parents as well as for their daughters. Each daughter must find one specific intellectual workshop where she may pursue with the greatest freedom and confidence the task of educating herself. But the opulent twentieth century spreads before her a bewilderingly rich display of learning materials—its total heritage of science, literature, and history—in maze-like patterns of old and new curricular theories. Her eager glimpses into the future may be more alarming than helpful in choosing the best patterns. She sees the beginnings of many enticing careers, but their endings...

  16. Notes
    (pp. 293-298)
  17. Index
    (pp. 299-302)