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Motherteacher : the feminization of American education

Author: Redding S Sugg
Publisher: Charlottesville : University Press of Virginia, 1978.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Public school education is increasingly coming under attack. Standardized tests scores of children from the earliest grades through high school continue to decline. Large numbers of students are given high school diplomas and yet can barely read or write or solve simple mathematical problems. Redding Sugg shows the roots of this frightening situation are deeply imbedded in the structure of American education as it  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Redding S Sugg
ISBN: 0813907578 9780813907574
OCLC Number: 3708082
Description: xi, 282 pages ; 24 cm
Contents: Part I : Toward anarchy with a schoolmistress. The rejection of a national university --
The wonderful proportions of maternity --
Ichabod Crane's profession and the profession of woman --
Part II : The transference of education from male to female hands --
The pedagogy of love --
The rod extended in vain --
Sentiment out of season --
Part III : The evolution of motherteacher --
From normalite to motherteacher --
The prolongation of infancy and adolescence --
Socializing intelligence and spirit --
Humbly and lovingly muddling along with children --
Epilogue. Beyond motherteacher: the need for intellectual vertebrae.
Responsibility: Redding S. Sugg, Jr.

Abstract:

"Public school education is increasingly coming under attack. Standardized tests scores of children from the earliest grades through high school continue to decline. Large numbers of students are given high school diplomas and yet can barely read or write or solve simple mathematical problems. Redding Sugg shows the roots of this frightening situation are deeply imbedded in the structure of American education as it has developed over the last two hundred years. Sugg argues that the substitution of female for male teachers resulted in a "feminized" type of teacher, dubbed Motherteacher, and a consequent subversion of academic authority and intellectualism in favor of the self-expression and "growth" of children. He examines three factors during the first fifty years of the republic that led to the ascendancy of female teachers and the definition of teaching as a female profession: the rejection of a national university, the magnification of the mother as a moral influence, and the low status of teaching as a male profession. Horace Mann's advocacy of female teachers as indispensable to the common school revival is chronicled, as well as the opposition to his reforms primarily in Massachusetts. Sugg shows how woman was defined a maternal and nurturant and how teaching came to be seen as only an extension of the domestic sphere, representing no threat to male dominance. This "pedagogy of love" with its Christian/moralistic principles was rationalized through nineteenth-century evolutionist ideologies that perpetrated the cult of the child. Opinion required that public schools increase the uncritical encouragement of self-expression by nurturant female (and feminized male) teachers at the expense of authority and intellectual rigor. In no way antifeminist, the volume emphasizes that the stereotype of the teacher is based on nineteenth-century sex-typing and that it continues to the injury of women (students and teachers) as well as men. In an epilogue the author presents his suggestion for correcting today's education system."--Publisher's description.

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