The primary focus of these schools was to teach and prepare women to become good housewives and mothers although a few got the opportunity to get trained for the restricted professional world (“Unigo”, 2009).
As John Briggs says “education played a large role in the women’s rights movement of the 20th century because it was seen as a key to success in gaining social, economic and political equality.” The education mainly comprised of subjects such as mathematics and home economics as it was understood that these subjects will help them in running their houses and educating their children. Also, subjects like child birth, hygiene and first aid were preferred by many women. Poor women were educated by well to do women who had the finance to attend schools (Briggs, n.d). Christie Anne Farhaan (1994) argued that U.S needed an educated citizenry and this in turn required the nurturing of the young by more educated mothers and so women’s education was very important (pg 16).
The seven sisters was one of the first all women college which encouraged women to study liberal arts and had high academic standards which could be compared to that of men’s colleges. Since education was limited to the white women, colleges for the black women also sprang after the civil war. Further catholic colleges were opened due to the increase in the immigration after the Second World War (Antler, n.d). The primary reasons for the need for educating women during the early period was increase in the demand of more teachers due to the increase in the number of colleges, growing interest of girls to learn further, increase in the spare time with women with developing technology and improved infrastructure and growth of employment opportunities due to emergence of new areas of work after the civil war (Newcomer, 1959).
However the 1960’s saw a change in the scenario of education. There was sudden boom in the