1st Edition

The Science Education of American Girls A Historical Perspective

By Kim Tolley Copyright 2003
    304 Pages 9 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Science Education of American Girls provides a comparative analysis of the science education of adolescent boys and girls, and analyzes the evolution of girls' scientific interests from the antebellum era through the twentieth century. Kim Tolley expands the understanding of the structural and cultural obstacles that emerged to transform what, in the early nineteenth century, was regarded as a "girl's subject." As the form and content of pre-college science education developed, Tolley argues, direct competition between the sexes increased. Subsequently, the cultural construction of science as a male subject limited access and opportunity for girls.

    List of Illustrations List of Tables Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Geography Opens The Door 2. Science for Ladies, Classics for Gentlemen 3. What will be the Use of This Study? 4. From Arithmetic to Higher Mathematics 5. The Rise of Natural History 6. Study Nature, Not Books 7. Other Paths, Other Opportunities 8. Physics for Boys Conclusion Notes Index


    Kim Tolley is an independent writer and scholar, formerly an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at the College of Notre Dame, Belmont, California.

    "Historian Kim Tolley has written an important book...Tolley is the first to bring together th ediverse elements of the story in a comprehensive way. In fact, no one has really studied the history of science education of American girls (elementary through secondary) as thoroughly as she has...Tolley retains a firm hand and does not take sides." -- American Journal of Education
    "Making use of vignettes, quantitative data, and illustrations, this richly written book traces the complex series of events that led to the domination of males in school science by the 20th century. A must-read for every scholar with interest in gender, issues of equity, history of education, and science education. Practitioners in science will also find this treatment of women and science education insightful." -- Choice
    "Wide ranging in its coverage and sometimes provocative in its analysis...This pioneering book will surely encourage further study of issues of gender and science education." -- Isis
    "The Science Education of American Girls is an important contribution to the literature that analyzes the relationship between girls and science and math
    "...in a highly readable and very well-researched volume, she documents some of the social, cultural, and economic factors involved in the shift from science being a female-dominated field of study to its becoming a male-dominated field." -- Science Education
    Vol.45, No.1
    "Kim Tolley's "The Science Educatioin of American Girls" will stand as a model of scholarship in the history of education." -- History of Education Quarterly