Formal Education and Career Choice

  • Stephanie Spencer


In 1959 M. Woollett, headmistress of a technical school for girls, described the relationship between employment, domesticity, femininity and citizenship for which teachers had to prepare their female secondary school pupils in their final year of formal education. The advantages of the welfare state discussed in the previous chapter brought with it ideas of ‘social citizenship’ which were clearly gendered.2 The ‘two-fold’ experience, that is the need to prepare their pupils for both domesticity and employment, was discussed by the Headmistresses’ Association Education Committee, during their deliberations over their submission to the Crowther committee which considered developments in education for teenagers after the age of fifteen. The view of the headmistresses was that education served a dual purpose for their pupils: ‘vital to themselves as individuals and to the society of which they are a part’.3 This chapter considers the part that formal education played in the school-leaving decisions of girls in the 1950s.


Career Choice Occupational Choice Early Marriage Technical School Grammar School 
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Copyright information

© Stephanie Spencer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie Spencer
    • 1
  1. 1.University College WinchesterUK

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