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The Transatlantic KindergartenEducation and Women's Movements in Germany and the United States$
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Ann Taylor Allen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190274412

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190274412.001.0001

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School or Day-Nursery? Patterns of Institutionalization

School or Day-Nursery? Patterns of Institutionalization

(p.118) 5 School or Day-Nursery? Patterns of Institutionalization
The Transatlantic Kindergarten

Ann Taylor Allen

Oxford University Press

By the 1890s, German and American educators pressured local school authorities to adopt kindergarten classes into public-school systems.The very different outcomes of these campaigns were influenced by the gender composition of the teaching profession in each country. In Germany, most teachers, even at the elementary level, were men who resisted the feminization of their profession and therefore mostly refused to incorporate the kindergarten and its female teachers into public schools. In response, many German kindergartens integrated their institutions into public welfare systems. Public kindergartens became day nurseries for chiefly poor children. In the United States, the teaching profession at the elementary level was mostly female, and these teachers favored the addition of kindergarten classes. Public kindergartens also furthered the mission of assimilating the children of immigrants. However, the public-school classes met for four hours a day—a schedule that did not serve the needs of working mothers.

Keywords:   kindergarten, public schools, immigrants, female teachers, day nurseries, public welfare

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