By Helen Jefferson Lenskyj
It is a e-book of news approximately schooling and women's lives--the author's and her mother's. it truly is biography and autobiography written as social historical past. within the first part, Dr. Lenskyj offers the heritage for her mother's narrative, starting in 1832 whilst her grandfather arrived in Sydney. Australia, as a convict. She examines her personal girlhood reports within the Nineteen Fifties as a toddler of operating category mom and dad who used to be an intruder in a personal women' institution. utilizing resources from Australian women's heritage, women's reviews, and important social conception, she situates the 2 tales within the broader, Australian socio-cultural context of 1900 to 1960. The narrative then strikes to the Canadian academic context, documenting the interventions of moms interested by school-community activism within the Sixties and Seventies within the Toronto Board of schooling, and the author's personal reviews in a school-community council. the writer additionally examines lesbian and homosexual activism aimed toward academic switch within the Nineteen Eighties and Nineteen Nineties, together with her personal function at the writing staff that ready curriculum instructions on homophobia and sexual orientations for Toronto academics. eventually, Dr. Lenskyj displays on her reports for the reason that 1986 as an brazenly lesbian professor on the Ontario Institute for reports in schooling, collage of Toronto, and discusses advancements in anti-oppression educating within the collage within the Nineties.
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Additional info for A Lot to Learn: Girls, Women, and Education in the 20th Century
In senior school biology classes, we were introduced to reproduction in frogs, followed by mammals and humans, with Miss Cockburn’s dry delivery focusing exclusively on anatomy and physiology. Typical of the era, both the curriculum and the teachers who presented it were silent on the social and emotional aspects of human sexuality, although various myths and facts circulated among my peers. Having heard no message to the contrary, I reached adolescence believing that marriage was a choice, not a destiny, and I didn’t view childless women as incomplete or unfulfilled.
Only changed our clothes once a week. A postcard to “Miss M. Evers” from her mother, dated October , , is the oldest piece of correspondence in Margaret’s collection. Printed in Germany, it had an embossed illustration of pansies and “Remembrance from Mother” outlined in glitter. In view of later revelations about her childhood, it is likely that her mother’s message evoked mixed feelings in the -year-old Margaret: “... I hope you and G. Ma are in your usual health. (I hope) Be a good girl & do what you can to help her” (emphasis added).
She had wanted to be a schoolteacher, and in a sense became one when she had children of her own. She took great pleasure in teaching me skills ranging from reading and writing to cooking and cleaning. ” Under my mother’s watchful eye at the kitchen table, suitably protected with newspaper, I learned how to write with a pen and ink—dipping the pen carefully in the bottle of blue Quink Ink, wiping off surplus drips, using blotting paper—long before we were taught this skill at school. Having practised successfully on scrap paper, I was then allowed to write a real letter in ink to my grandmother, which, began, as usual, “Dear G.