© 2008

The Educational Work of Women’s Organizations, 1890–1960

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Women, Volunteerism, and Education

    1. Christine Woyshner, Anne Meis Knupfer
      Pages 1-13
  3. Advancing Higher Education and Professional Work For Women

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Joan Marie Johnson
      Pages 17-37
    3. Laura Micheletti Puaca
      Pages 57-77
  4. Expanding Women’s Influence in Politics and Social Reform Institutions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 79-79
    2. Jana Nidiffer
      Pages 81-99
    3. Emily Mieras
      Pages 101-119
  5. “Uplifting the Race”

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 141-141
    2. Sharlene Voogd Cochrane
      Pages 143-162
    3. Kijua Sanders-McMurtry, Nia Woods Haydel
      Pages 179-192
  6. Schooling Children

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 193-193
    2. Barbara Beatty
      Pages 195-213
    3. Claudia J. Keenan
      Pages 235-250
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 251-260

About this book


This book explores women's organizations and their various educational contributions through local, state, and national networks from 1890 to 1960. Contributors investigate how women united to support and sustain education in both formal and informal settings, and examine various associations.


children education Institution Nation organization politics reform schooling service women

About the authors

Joan Marie Johnson, Northeastern Illinois University, USA Laura Moses Hines, Kent State University-Trumbull, USA Laura Micheletti Puaca, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA Jana Nidiffer, Center for the Education of Women, University of Michigan, USA Emily Mieras, Stetson University, USA Liz Rohan, University of Michigan-Dearborn, USA Sharlene Voogd Cochrane, Lesley University, USA Marybeth Gasman, University of Pennsylvania, USA Kijua Sanders-McMurtry, Georgia State University, USA Nia Woods Haydel, Georgia State University, USA Barbara Beatty, Wellesley College, USA Andrea Knecht, Mississippi State University, USA Claudia Keenan, Emory and Henry College, USA

Bibliographic information


"This extraordinary collection of essays places education in its proper place in the history of women - at the center of both their struggles for self-definition and their efforts to reform and broaden concepts of community. At the same time, the authors accord women their rightful place in the history of education by highlighting how their educational activities intersected with historical developments as diverse as Progressivism, racial integration, suburbanization, and the Cold War. The authors' insights no doubt will stimulate further research into the many critical ways in which women have used education as a tool of social change." - Rebecca S. Montgomery, author of The Politics of Education in the New South: Women and Reform in Georgia, 1890-1930

"This book tells a new story about women's voluntary organizations. Received narratives usually end with the 1920s, but the rich array of chapters included here shows how women's groups shaped education through the 1960s. An outstanding collection." - Anne Ruggles Gere, Gertrude Buck Collegiate Professor, Professor of English and Education, University of Michigan, USA

"Knupfer and Woyshner's edited volume builds upon and extends our understanding of how education has been at the core of many women-driven reforms. Their research on women's educational work and leadership in a variety of settings and organizations has deepened our understanding of women's social situations, as well as contributed to our understandingof women's growth as individuals. Bringing insights from twelve case studies into the larger contemporary discussion of women's history, this volume provides new perspectives on the centrality of networking to women's public contributions to education and to the common good through the avenue of educational work. This volume is a must-read for scholars of women's history and for those who are interested in better understanding how the dynamics of gender and volunteerism helped shape education." - Andrea Walton, Associate Professor of Education, Indiana University-Bloomington, USA

"What a useful collection! Original essays offer fascinating case studies of the organizing work and impact of twelve women's associations. The authors show how, from the Society of Women Engineers to the Southern Association of College Women, educated women changed society while they empowered themselves. This fresh collection of original essays is a welcome addition to the literature on the history of American education, philanthropy, and civil society in the twentieth century." - Ruth Crocker, Professor of History, Auburn University, USA

"This is an interesting and promising collection that brings much new material to light." - Linda Eisenmann, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences and Professor, Education and History, John Carroll University, USA