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Development of Women as Students through the Public Education System

A Public School System reflects the current views and values of society at any given time. Students are sent to schools to learn what that society deems they should know to function in that society. At the turn of the century, most women were homemakers. Few held jobs outside the home. For many years the learning of females was restricted by society’s beliefs that they only needed to focus on narrow areas of study or by beliefs that some areas of study were beyond their abilities. For some students, especially immigrant children in the core area schools of Winnipeg, there were more, almost unstated, limitations that these children should focus on becoming ”Canadian” which would mean a basic emphasis on learning to read and write English.

Throughout the twentieth century, circumstances such as the two World Wars forced women into a wide range of work which had been traditionally done by men. Once the perceptions of what women were capable of learning and doing shifted, the education system’s curricula changed for women.

Today all areas of study are open to women throughout their entire public schooling. Additionally, all areas of study at universities or colleges are available to both men and women.

Spencer Family fonds








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Archives & Special Collections
University of Manitoba Libraries
Room 331, Elizabeth Dafoe Library
University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB  R3T 2N2 Canada
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