Reaching Beyond the Classroom
Josephine Corliss Preston knew from her own experience that teachers were capable of promoting necessary changes both within and without the classroom. Steeped in tradition of advocacy from the start, White women teachers in the US West advocated not only for the materials necessary for their students and their schools but for education in general. Washington's Country Life movement's adherents during the 20th century sought to strengthen the nation's agricultural efforts by improving country living through increasing social and economic opportunities. Scholarly work has begun to reveal women teachers' activism related to the control of teaching conditions, including unequal pay, lack of long-term security, marriage bans, and other efforts to control teachers' private lives. Outside of the South, few women of Colour were teaching in public US schools in the 19th century. In states like Washington, 90 percent of the rural teachers were White women.