The Education of Women in Colonial America

What educational opportunities were available to women during the colonial era in American history? How did the opportunities available to women differ from those for men? To answer this question, class members examine a series of primary source materials that focus on the role Elizabeth Murray played in the education of her nieces.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Have class members interview family members about their experience with different education opportunities offered to men and women
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires either online access to the primary source materials or multiple copies of the 13 documents
  • Presumes class members have experience analyzing primary source documents
  • The activity could be included in a unit on US colonial history or as part of a Women's History Month unit
Pros

  • The resource packet includes an introductory essay that provides background information on educational practices of the time and links to 13 primary source documents
Cons

  • While suggestions for assessments are included, neither a detailed assignment nor a rubric for an assessment are included
Common Core