Essay on historical figure

Submitted By savannahcorder
Words: 668
Pages: 3

24 September 2013
PEDU 232 Fall 2013 Historical Figure Assignment Women in the 1700s were given very few opportunities, especially when it came to school. Most women of this time were expected to be mothers, good wives, and keep a clean house. Women in the 1700s were heavily discriminated against due to their gender, and this could still be an issue today if there had not been women like Catherine Beecher. She made great advancements in education, most of which included a more liberal education for women. Catherine Beecher came from a wealthy family in New York and in that time period, even wealthy women were offered minimal education; therefore, most of Beecher’s education came through independent study (PBS Online). She was the oldest of thirteen children and took on the role as a “head of household” at the age of sixteen when her mother died (Education & Resources: NWHM). Shortly after her father remarried, Beecher and her family moved to Connecticut, and she began studying at the Litchfield Female Academy where most of her time was spent learning from and adopting the ideas of Sarah Pierce. Pierce believed men and women were intellectually equal and should have the same educational opportunities (Education & Resources: NWHM). While at Litchfield Catherine met her fiancé, Alexander Fisher, who later died in a shipwreck. Although devastated, she dedicated the rest of her life to the field of education and used the little inheritance Fisher left to her in order to do so (Education & Resources: NWHM). She then became the cofounder of “The Hartford Female Seminary, an innovative school that allowed young women the opportunity to study subjects that had traditionally been part of the male curriculum” (Catherine Beecher | Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame). Basically, the school was to teach women the same things men were learning. Rather than women being domesticated at school, they were now to be educated as well. Beecher was an advocate for women and women’s rights and dedicated her life to educating women to be mothers as well as teachers. Catherine Beecher wrote books on education, textbooks, and cookbooks because women were responsible for their house as well as raising their children. One of Beecher’s books “Educational Reminiscences” focused solely on the physical education of women. This would teach women to sit stand, walk, move gracefully, and pursue more calisthenics exercises alone with their studies (“The Beecher Tradition”). Although she believed in equal education rights for women, she still believed women should be subordinate to men and continue as housewives and mothers (Catherine Beecher | Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame). She posed the