International Women's Day 2023

Celebrating the women who changed the way we educate! 

It's International Women's Day 2023! We thought we'd celebrate the women who changed the world through education.

We're one of the UK's leading apprenticeship providers. So, we understand more than most just how important education is. Education is a powerful source. Without it, we wouldn't be where we are today.

Did you know that before 1919, no married woman in Wales was allowed to work as a teacher? Authorities put what's called 'married bars' on female teachers. This meant that if any female teacher became married, they must then resign. The Rhondda Education Authority sacked sixty-three married women teachers. The teachers took the authority to court, but they lost their case. Sourced from: BBC - History - Themes - Women - Teaching

It's emotional to think about how far women's rights have progressed today.

In the late 1800s, women started to have a more substantial role in education. Not only were they allowed to learn freely and expand their knowledge. But women were allowed to become teachers. And ever since, women have been changing the way we educate.

Here are our top three most influential women in education.

1. Maria Montessori : 1870 – 1952

Maria Montessori is a very famous educator. She is an incredibly inspiring woman. Here's why. She's most known for her philosophy of education. The Montessori Method is expressing children’s individuality in learning. It's all about working with each child’s unique way of learning. The method focuses on independent learning. Hands-on play and a thoughtfully planned-out environment will help children grow. This learning method is taught all over the world today. Children each have their own pace of learning. And their own unique style of learning. Children play differently. Discover things differently. And finally, children learn differently. The method works in harmony with a child’s unique needs. There is so much more to learn about Maria and her learning method. You should definitely research and discover more.

2. Helen Keller : 1880 – 1968

You might have heard of the sensational Helen Keller. A remarkable educator who was deaf and blind. Undeterred by her disabilities, Helen became a leading humanitarian. And that's not all she did in the 20th century. Helen advocated for the deaf and blind. She became a pacifist during World War I. And she toured military hospitals during World War II. Helen is truly remarkable. So much so, that her life story was featured in the film Deliverance. Helen's life was also featured in another film called The Miracle Worker. This film won an Academy Award in 1955. In 1915, Helen co-founded Helen Keller International. Combating the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition. She also co-founded the American Civil Liberties Union. Whilst studying, Helen published two books. The story of my life (1902) and Optimism (1903). These two books became a huge success and launched her career as a writer and lecturer.

3. Gabriela Mistral : 1889 – 1957

Gabriela is easily one of our favourite female educators. She was brave, fierce, empathetic, and much more. Gabriela advocated for the rights of others. From women and children to the poor and many other disadvantaged groups. She was the first Latin American author to receive a Nobel Prize. Gabriela grew up in a troubled environment. She had a difficult upbringing. And she used her experiences in life to inspire others. She worked as a teacher’s aide for many years to help her mother financially. She was an incredible writer. And it was during this time that she sent her literature to local newspapers. In 1906, she published an article titled "La instrucción de la mujer" (The education of women). Speaking about the limits placed on women's education. In 1910, Gabriele worked hard to achieve her teaching certificate. She spent years traveling across Chile as a teacher. In 1913 she published her first publication. It was incredibly popular and gained lots of traction. The president of Chile even noticed it. She was then chosen to be the principal of the Liceo de Niñas (High School for Girls) in Punta Arenas. Whilst headteacher, she continued to publish educational materials. Her writing saw her travel outside Chile. Where she ended up settling down in Mexico. She helped rebuild educational systems after the Mexican Revolution. She loved writing but knew it wasn't a stable income. So she returned to teaching. She taught classes at Columbia University and Barnard College. By 1945, Mistral was a household name.

There are many other influential women in education. International Women's Day is all about celebrating women. It's inspiring to see how far women's rights have come.

It's inspiring to read about the women who helped change education. And helped provide women with the advantages we now have. Happy International Woman’s Day 2023!


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