NDNU Professor Receives International “History of Education Society” Award

Belmont, CA, August 14, 2008 — The History of Education Society awarded Dr. Kim Tolley, Associate Professor of Education at Notre Dame de Namur University its “2008 Best Article Award” for co-writing a study analyzing social and economic factors that led to an increase in female teachers in U.S. schools by the end of the nineteenth century.

The international prize is awarded biennially by the international scholarly society for the best article in the history of education inside and outside of the United States.The article “Socioeconomic Incentives to Teach in New York and North Carolina: Toward a More Complex Model of Teacher Labor Markets, 1800-1850” co-authored by Tolley and Nancy Beadie, associate professor of education at the University of Washington, Seattle, was published inHistory of Education Quarterly 46 (Spring 2006): 36-72.

Social historians have demonstrated that although men comprised the majority of teachers in U.S. schools during the early national period, women predominated by the end of the nineteenth century. The study adds to the understanding of this process by analyzing some of the social and economic factors that contributed to this shift.

“We found evidence to suggest that during the early decades of the century, the transition from men to women was well underway in entrepreneurial schools in North Carolina,” said Tolley. “Similarly, in rural New York, the expansion of female teaching occurred through the market, independent of a tax-based system of support for common schools.” Their findings raise new questions about the significance of state intervention in schooling for female teachers and the structure of labor markets from teachers’ perspectives.

The History of Education Society’s goals include promoting and improving the teaching of the history of education in colleges and universities, encouraging scholarly research in the history of education, and facilitating the publication and dissemination of the results. The Society is affiliated with the International Standing Conference for the History of Education, and members of the Society are automatically members of the standing conference. They convene for a three day annual meeting in late October to present and discuss scholarship, and other ways to advance their goals.