Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Women teachers--Iowa--History; Rural schools--Iowa--History; Women's rights--Iowa--History; Teachers--Training of--Iowa--History;


Approximately twelve to fourteen thousand one-room schoolhouses occupied the Iowan landscape during the late nineteenth century. Rural schools possess a strong connection to the memories Iowans have of their state and have a particularly strong impact on women’s recollections. The state was established during the climax of the educational reformation led by Horace Mann and Catharine Beecher. Consequently, Iowa mostly negated schooling by religious leaders and developed public school systems almost immediately upon the state’s foundations. The majority of the people settling Iowa already contained firm beliefs on public education being accessible for all citizens. Women began entering the schoolhouse in large numbers during the Civil War that continued to increase over the next several decades. As teaching became an extension of republican motherhood, and education reforms pushed for standardization of the teaching profession, more women enrolled in normal training programs, such as the Iowa State Normal School. This educational reformation and increase of women as teachers created an environment in Iowa that influenced women’s rights issues including school suffrage, pay equity, and coeducation.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of History

First Advisor

Leisl Carr Childers, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 105 pages)



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