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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Honorable Soldiers, Too: An Historical Case Study of Post-Reconstruction African American Female Teachers of the Upper Ohio River Valley
by Hancock, Carole Wylie, Ph.D., Ohio University, 2008, 455; 10630987
Abstract (Summary)

This exploratory and descriptive study illuminates the lives of African American female teachers who lived in the upper Ohio River Valley between 1875 and 1915. Existing current research depicts teachers in the South and urban North during this period. This study highlights teachers from northern, small to midsized cities in order to bring them into the historical record and direct attention to their contributions to education. The focus of this historical, intrinsic, embedded, single-case case study was on the social profile, educational opportunities, teaching experiences, and support networks of Pocahontas Simmons Peyton, Susie Simmons (Jones?), Bernadine Peyton Sherman, Mary Peyton Dyson, Anna Stevens Posey, and Elizabeth Jennie Adams Carter. Three additional themes emerged from the data. They involved inconsistent community attitudes, male-defined perspectives, and multigenerational connections and successes.

The case for this study was bounded by time, place, race, gender, and occupation. The units of analysis were selected from a pool of 27 names using the maximum-variation purposeful sampling method. The central research question asked how the women operated within the educational systems of the three-state area of western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, and southeastern Ohio. The researcher employed multiple methods of data collection in order to triangulate the data and provide rich description of the women within the context of the bounded system.

The findings suggest that these women were part of a tradition of exemplary service to education. Although they were unique, these women shared characteristics with teachers in other areas of the country. With one exception, they worked in segregated schools with poor to adequate resources. Each woman had a range of educational options open to her, but not all options were available in each location. The women were skilled at using support networks and their own abilities to navigate within the educational system. They became role models and pioneers who made significant contributions to the educational landscape of the area. Knowledge of these women increases our understanding of the roles African American women have played in schools and gives them overdue recognition for fighting for an honorable cause.

Indexing (document details)
Commitee: Bower, David F., O'Donnell, James, Romano, Rosalie, Ward Randolph, Adah
School: Ohio University
Department: Curriculum and Instruction
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Black history, American history, Womens studies, Education history
Keywords: African american female teachers, African american women, History of african american education, History of u.s. education, History of women's education
Publication Number: 10630987
ISBN: 978-0-355-01298-9
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