Women Teachers, Men Teachers Free Essay

History and Solution of the Problem of Discrimination Against Women Teachers


It is hard to imagine that teachers of the past had little chance to have protection and support. The history of the teaching profession to great extent repeats the history of the development of the civil society.  This profession was affected by contemporary social problems and social vices, such as segregation, discrimination, and inequality. Teachers, like most of the working people, had to fight for their labor rights and had to pass a long way to get the chance to get protection and support from the state. The situation became even worse for female teachers, whose rights were neglected and abused even more, in comparison to their male peers. In the past, when the rights of most workers were neglected and severely abused, the rights of teachers did not become an exception.  Dana Goldstein’s School Ma’ams as Lobbyists describes the beginning of trade union movement among school teachers The Chicago Teachers’ Federation was founded in 1897,  which nowadays become transformed into  American Federation of Teachers (Goldstein, 2014, p.  69). Women not only had fewer chances to build a successful career in the educational sphere. They also got lower salaries and did not have such career chances as men did. For example, in the 1850s two-thirds of all salaries in the educational sphere were paid to men (Goldstein, 2014,  36). These numbers illustrate disproportion in salary distribution, and Teacher Trade Unions worked to get rid of this injustice.

Women enter the Teaching Profession

The episode with Margaret Haley’s father, described in the article  School Ma’ams as Lobbyists illustrates the degree of inequality, which existed in contemporary society (Goldstein, 2014, p. 70). Mr. Haley took his three daughters to the lecture of a famous and progressive lecturer, who told the public about the new science of phrenology. During his speech, the lecturer let himself   give negative comments about one of the leaders of the suffrage movement. Mr. Haley left the hall and took his daughters, explaining the basic ideas about male chauvinism and discrimination of women Goldstein 63). The case described became one of the multiple cases, which illustrated the level of discrimination of women in contemporary society. Margaret Haley, an outstanding teacher of her time, became a prominent leader, who inspired a lot of women to fight.   Women of that time had to fight for their basic rights and the fight became even stronger when it came to professions, which were traditionally viewed as “male”. Since women had little chances to get education in the past, teaching was considered male prerogative for many years. “In the early 1800s, the vast majority of teachers in the United States were men (Sedak & Schlossman, 1986, p. 112). Several decades later the proportion changed drastically, and multiple factors contributed to this change. Economic, political and social change had important impact on the role and function of women in the society. Women fought for their rights in different spheres and gradually gained the social and political initiative. Speaking about the education sphere, women had to put much effort to prove their right to become part of the educational process. Catharine E. Beecher, “An Essay on the Education of Female Teachers in the United States” sheds light to this important problem and argues about great benefits, female teachers are able to bring to the education system (Beecher, 1935).  She gives multiples proofs, in order to support her position and prove that women have enough skills and qualification to become good teachers.

Transformation of basic Message behind the Teaching Profession.

The role and function of the teacher have changed and transformed with time. Educational system also went through change and transformation.  Social changes became reflected in the form, structure, and content of the educational system. Sedak & Schlossman  (1986 ) argue that the structure of the educational process became changed after women entered the profession. They point out that a lot of bureaucracy and regulations were implemented in order to limit the teacher’s initiative.  As they point out, “Several scholars have suggested that the prevalence of women in teaching has contributed to pressure to strength bureaucratic controls over teacher behavior and “deskill” the profession” (Sedak & Schlossman, 1986, p. 114).  Their changes are not that easy to trace, but, after careful study, it is possible to note that teachers had considerably more freedom in the past if to compare with the educational system which exists in the contemporary society.  Nowadays, teaching is changed to the well-defined and well-regulated mechanism. Both, male and female teachers have equal duties and responsibilities as the participants of the educational process. It can be contrasted to the role of first female teaching, which was viewed as “mothering outside the home”  (Goldstein, 2014, p. 39). Catherine Beecher also supported this idea and viewed teaching as the way to bring civilization to the East and the West (School: The Story of American Public Education). She insisted that education could be viewed as the source of moral and ethical values, and women perfectly suited to fulfill this purpose.  She saw teaching as “a woman’s moral calling” (School: The Story of American Public Education).  The meaning, content, and structure of the education is changed in contemporary society. Education nowadays is viewed and treated as a way to develop logical thinking, creative abilities, and train memory. At the same time, female teachers are treated the same as male ones and teaching became a female-dominated sphere nowadays.

Works Cited

School: The Story of American Public Education, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJnPkFHH3p4&index=6&list=PL00795BC38B4368D4&t=0s+3

The School in the United States: A Documentary History, edited by James W. Fraser.3rd edition.

Covello Leonard, D’Agostino, Guido The Heart is the Teacher,

Sedlak,  Michael, Schlossman Steven, Who Will Teach: Historical Perspectives on the Changing Appeal of Teaching As a Profession

“School Ma’ams as Lobbyists,” Two in The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession,   Goldstei,n Dana (2014), pages 66-73.

“Repressed Indignation: The Feminist Challenge to American Education.” Two in The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession,,   Goldstei,n Dana (2014), pages 33-46.

Beecher, Catharine E. “An Essay on the Education of Female Teachers in the United States,” 1835In The School in the United States, A Documentary History by Fraser.

Rugoff, Milton. The Beechers: An American family in the nineteenth century. Harper&Row. New York. 1981


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[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 30, 2022]
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