her modest lot as teacher, but indulging dreams of rising to the career of a milliner.
Indeed, so far are European
countries from yet accepting this finer force that American educators who have stayed in Europe
a little too long are apt to come back regretting our extensive employment of women, and assuming that because Germany
does not pursue this practice it is not the best thing for us. But Horace Mann
, who knew the German schools thoroughly, was the man through whom this change in America
was chiefly made ; he found but little more than half the Massachusetts
teachers women, and left them five-sixths of that sex. This he urged, not primarily on the ground of economy-though there is no doubt that it is the extensive employment of women which alone males possible the vast spread of our common-school system-but for the sake of what he called “the more congenial influences of female teaching.”
“I believe there will soon be an entire unanimity in public sentiment,” he wrote in 1837, “in regarding female as superior to male teaching for young children.”
The influence of women in the school, as in the family, is all the greater because it substitutes affection for physical strength, and must accomplish its results by tact and not by brute strength.
The class of forces thus represented, has, moreover, its weight in the community as a whole, and reaches