Blurring the boundaries: School Board women in Scotland 1873-1919

McDermid, Jane (2010) Blurring the boundaries: School Board women in Scotland 1873-1919. Women's History Review, 19, (3), 357-373. (doi:10.1080/09612025.2010.489344).


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The number of women who served on school boards in Scotland was not large, and generally they stood for election on an explicitly gendered platform in a way men did not, and most concentrated on the domestic education of girls. The work of the best known of these women, Flora Stevenson, who served on the Edinburgh School Board from the first election in 1873 until her death in 1905, shows that there were opportunities to broaden the scope of their activities and influence the general working of the board. Stevenson’s social origins as well as her philanthropic and feminist interests suggest that she was representative of school-board women. However, she is also seen as exceptional: for example she was one of only a few women elected to chair a board, and to believe that poor boys as well as girls would benefit from being taught domestic subjects, while she was unique in voicing concern that the increasing emphasis on such subjects in the female curriculum was at the expense of girls’ academic education. The aim here is to place Stevenson within the wider context of school-board women in Scotland.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/09612025.2010.489344
ISSNs: 0961-2025 (print)
1747-583X (electronic)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
L Education > LA History of education
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities > History
ePrint ID: 180919
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
July 2010Published
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2011 07:41
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:35

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