3 Women Pioneers in Education

In honor of “International Women’s Day,” here are three female pioneers to recognize whose contributions to education have left an astounding impact.

Charlotte MasonCharlotte Mason (1842-1923) Pioneer of Home Education
A citizen of Britain, Charlotte Mason’s dream was that all children, no matter what social class, should have the opportunity to obtain a liberal arts education. She was dedicated to improving the way in which children were educated. Seeing the importance of educating parents in areas of discipline and the training of children, she began the Parents’ Education Union. It was her belief that children learn best through “living books” rather than dry textbooks and through real experiences. Her methods included an emphasis on the enjoyment of the arts and the study of great artists and musicians. Many of her educational practices were well suited to home education and her methods have become the foundation of many homeschooling families


Margaret BancroftMargaret Bancroft (1854-1912) Pioneer of Special Education
Bancroft’s intelligence, imagination, and dedication to her students set her apart as an extraordinary educator. At the age of 25, she embarked on a courageous and lonely endeavor by opening the first private boarding school in Haddonfield, New Jersey, for children with developmental delays. She believed that disabled children needed special schools, adapted material, and well trained teachers rather than to be sent to institutions. Bancroft’s students responded to her love and patience and individually-tailored instruction. Under her influence, the medical profession began to awaken to their responsibility to help correct defects and disabilities in children. Admirers of her skill came to train and later became leaders in the field of special education.


Maria MontessoriMaria Montessori (1870-1952) Pioneer of Individualized Education
Montessori methods remain the popular choice for many parents who seek an alternative education for their children, especially for the early childhood through the primary years. Before she took an interest in education, Montessori was the first woman in Italy to obtain the training to become a doctor. She was assigned the post of medical care to the patients of a mental institution and it was there that she encountered “backward” children igniting her passion for education. Beginning with a daycare facility in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Rome, Montessori put her theories into practice. Her methods were influenced by her previous training in medicine, education, and anthropology. The results were extraordinary and soon drew much attention from many parts of the world, including America. The rest, as they say, is history.


Happy International Women’s Day! Have you had any women in your life impact it for the better? Share your story with us in the comments and tweet us @PresenceLearn!

Source: Teach Hub