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Emma Willard (1787-1870). Fall 2006 EDCI658. Who Is Emma Willard?. Born on February 23, 1787 in Berlin, Connecticut, the 16 th child of Samuel Hart, a self-taught farmer, and his second wife Hinsdale

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emma willard 1787 1870

Emma Willard (1787-1870)

Fall 2006


who is emma willard
Who Is Emma Willard?
  • Born on February 23, 1787 in Berlin, Connecticut, the 16th child of Samuel Hart, a self-taught farmer, and his second wife Hinsdale
  • Before the Civil War, schools were open only to boys; but at Emma’s time, women were encouraged to attend primary schools
  • Emma attended district school (primary) and Academy, the closest to secondary education
who is emma willard cont
Who Is Emma Willard Cont.
  • At age 17, Emma started to teach and demonstrated a natural gift for teaching
  • She formed classes with higher studies beyond rote repetition
  • She were engaged in continuous education while teaching and attended Patten School and Royse School (one of the best at that time)
  • Poor girls at Emma’s time had no educational opportunities beyond district schools
  • All curricular for girls even the well-to-do ones stressed “accomplishments” as sewing, music and art more than academic subject.
who is emma willard cont4
Who Is Emma Willard Cont.
  • She took charge, in Middlebury, VT, of one of the first academies for women in the country
  • Married Dr. John Willard, a man twice widowed with four children at the academy
  • She began a life of a married women and gave birth to John Hard Willard
  • She opened a boarding schools for girls at her home
  • Her curriculum first stressed the “accomplishments,” then move on to higher studies of math, history, and language
who is emma willard cont5
Who Is Emma Willard Cont.
  • Emma believed that married life would be happier if the wife could also be an intellectual companion to the husband
  • She wanted to prove that girls are capable of comprehending college level studies
  • Teaching method
    • Understand the material
    • Recite what has just been learned
    • Communicate the information to one another
who is emma willard cont6
Who Is Emma Willard Cont.
  • Emma worked on her “Plan for Improving Female Education” (Female Seminaries)
  • Emma published her plan and sent it to the prominent people of her time such as Monroe, Adams, Jefferson, and Governor De Witt Clinton of New York
  • In 1818, Governor Clinton passed a charter for the Waterford Academy for Young Ladies, the first legislative act recognizing a woman’s right to higher education
  • Emma moved her school to Troy, New York
who is emma willard cont7
Who Is Emma Willard Cont.
  • In 1812, the Troy Female Seminary began with 90 students.
  • Emma enlarged the curriculum making higher mathematics a permanent part of studies there
  • She believed that religious training is the basis of all education and give instructions on religion using a non-sectarian manner
  • She was the first woman to offer scholarships for women (around $75,000)
who is emma willard cont8
Who Is Emma Willard Cont.
  • Emma had a special interest in teacher training
  • She was a forerunner of normal school
  • Her seminary did much to change public opinion regarding the education of women
  • In 1826, the first public schools for girls was established in both Boston and New York
  • She was one of the first educators to take definite steps to train women teachers
  • In her effort to help Henry Barnard to promote common school in CT, Emma became the first woman superintendent in the nation
who is emma willard cont9
Who Is Emma Willard Cont.
  • She received a gold medal at the World’s Fair of 1851 in London for her educational work
  • She advocated for women’s special abilities to go beyond primary school
  • When she returned to the United States, she was taken prison by the Confederates during the Civil War
  • In her later years, she was busy with updating history textbooks
willard s contribution to education
Willard’s Contribution to Education
  • Troy Female Academy was the first school to provide higher education for women when no high school was open to women
  • Her school offered some college level courses such as physiology and advanced algebra and geometry
  • Combated the belief that women’s minds were not acute enough to handle mathematics or the natural sciences
  • Eroded the conventional belief that there were differences in mental abilities between men and women
willard s contribution to education11
Willard’s Contribution to Education
  • The Willard Plan was the first public claim that education should be available for all women
  • It called for liberal arts curriculum with essentials from men’s colleges, but would be taught exclusively by women
  • She obtained public grants for the first time for the education of women
  • She provided training for women to become teachers
  • She organized an alumnae network
willard s contribution to education12
Willard’s Contribution to Education
  • Troy Model was reproduced by its own graduates all over the country. This model incorporated a systematic study of pedagogy
  • “In this movement for the higher education of women, Emma Willard must be given first place. No other women had made such definite experiments in education, no other woman had so daringly stepped into the limelight to wage her fight for education” (By Alma Lutz, Willard’s biographer, cited in Murphy, p. 269)
willard s philosophy of education
Willard’s Philosophy of Education
  • “For the sake of the Republic, women must be educated. Women of education and character would bear nobler sons and train them for useful citizenship.” (Republican Motherhood)
  • “Education should seek to bring its subjects to the perfection of their moral, intellectual, and physical nature in order that they may be the greatest possible use to themselves and others.”
    • From Plan for Improving Female Education
more resources on willard
More Resources on Willard
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Willard
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Willard_School
  • http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0852287.html
  • http://www.pinn.net/~sunshine/whm2001/willard1.html
more resources on willard cont
More Resources on Willard Cont.
  • Kersey, Shirley Helson. Classics in the Education of Girls and Women. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1981.
  • Lutz, Alma. Emma Willard: Daughter of Democracy. Washington, DC: Zenger Publishing, 1975.
  • McClelland, Averil Evans. The Education of Women in the United States: A Guide to Theory, Teaching, and Research. New York: Garland Publishing, 1992.