Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
This thesis explores the rise of public education, its influence on rural society, and the ways that farmwomen used schooling for a variety of purposes. Throughout the nineteenth century, more opportunities for women appeared as communities in the mountainous areas of West Virginia and Pennsylvania established free, public schools. With these social developments came an attempt to balance the public's perception of women's role in rural society. Administrators charged with implementing state-wide, public education had to set boundaries on women's advancement as they reacted to the public's changing ideas of women's proper role. Confronting these ideas set forth by administrators, the girls who attended public schools received an education that provided additional tools and new experiences, which were individually transformative. By the turn of the century, farmwomen saw themselves as an extension of the country school, which they believed was the nexus of their community. They advocated for their own and their family's education, and they used their presence in country schools to shape their individual experiences.
Perry, Allyson, "Country Schoolgirls: A Study of Rural Women and the Rise of Public Education, 1820-1914" (2014). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 452.