“Cultivating the Powers of Human Beings

Curriculum and Pedagogy in Schools and Academies in the New Republic
  • Margaret A. Nash


Elizabeth Hamilton, author of the popular Letters on Education (1801), was a strong advocate of advanced education for females. When someone suggested that a “triumph of reason over the passions” might be unattractive in a woman, she retorted, “I beg your pardon; I thought we were speaking of the best method of cultivating the powers of human beings. … In this I can make no distinction of sex.”1 Most writers on education in the early republic agreed with Hamilton. The majority of educators believed that both males and females were rational human beings who needed to acquire mental discipline and who were interested in learning about the world around them. Both the curricula and the pedagogical methods proposed by educational theorists in the new republic reflected these beliefs.


Early Nineteenth Century Private Tutor Female Education Young Lady English Grammar 
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© Margaret A. Nash 2005

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  • Margaret A. Nash

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