FrontRow Blog Post

Published 08 March 2017

Education and Women's History Month

Early Pioneers

In observance of Women's National History Month, FrontRow wants to share some links and excerpts pointing to historic and present-day women leaders in education!

  • Maria Montessori
    Was the only female in an all-male school, and went on to get a degree in physics and mathematics before becoming one of the first female medical doctors in Italy in 1896. She devoted her practice to children, and became fascinated with the way children learn. In 1899, she was appointed counselor to the newly formed National League for the Protection of Retarded Children, and began studying education for children with special needs. Montessori developed a new program in which she developed exercises that prepared students to learn. Thus was born the Montessori educational approach that is still widely practiced today, especially in the PK-6 grades.
     
  • Margaret Bancroft
    Founded the Haddonfield Bancroft Training School for the multiply disabled. Under its original name as The Haddonfield School for the Mentally Deficient and Peculiarly Backward, the institution was founded in 1883 as a way for Bancroft and fellow educators to develop innovate ways of teaching developmentally disabled children.
     
  • Mary McLeod Bethune
    Opened the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute for Girls near Daytona Beach with just five students in 1904, and expanded to 250 students within two years. The school merged with the Cookman Institute for Men in Jacksonville, and became the Bethune-Cookman College in 1923—one of the only colleges open to black students at the time. In 1936, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed her as Director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration.
     
  • Marie Clay
    Was a highly acclaimed educator from New Zealand, and did revolutionary work in literacy acquisition for children. More than three decades ago, she introduced a method of reading acquisition, known as Reading Recovery, for first graders. The program offers students one-on-one tutoring sessions for a focused short-term period to raise students from low achieving readers to average readers. Clay’s program was first introduced in the United States in 1984. Even though Clay passed away in 2007, her program continues around the world and the U.S.
     

Present-Day Trailblazers (featured in Teachers' Voice)

Sources