History of Women and Girls’ Education
Submitting InstitutionUniversity of Winchester
Unit of AssessmentEducation
Summary Impact TypeSocietal
Research Subject Area(s)
Education: Curriculum and Pedagogy, Specialist Studies In Education
Studies In Human Society: Sociology
Summary of the impact
Centre for the History of Women's Education's research, exemplified by
Goodman, had cultural and educational impact in girls' schools and
supported heritage preservation. Girls' schools came to value their
archives from research illustrating they contained unique evidence of
teachers' work and women's lives. Goodman supported successful Heritage
Lottery Funding (HlF) bids for two Centres for the History of Girls'
Education, which delivered consultancy to other schools, impacting on
curriculum development, and providing cultural impact beyond their
schools. Research highlighting the importance of the British Federation of
University Women impacted the preservation of their Library and supported
relocation of their archive.
The Centre for the History of Women's Education (CHWE)'s reputation in
the history of women's education, noted in the overview "Gendering the
Story: Change in the History of Education" (Watts, History of Education
journal, 2005), is built on monographs, edited collections and peer
reviewed articles. CHWE's research draws on committee minutes, official
publications and ephemeral sources that tended to be discarded as girls'
schools re-organised. Exemplified by Goodman's research, the
impact-related activities described in the case study build on the synergy
between research — and the archives, schools and collections in which the
research is conducted.
A major grant from the Spencer Foundation USA (£144,000) (Goodman and
Harrop) (1996-9) investigated Women and the Governance of Girls' Secondary
Education in Britain, 1870-1997, and collected quantitative and
qualitative data relating to approximately 500 girls' schools in the UK.
This was preceded by Goodman and Harrop's survey of girls' school archives
which demonstrated that records of many girls' schools had been lost in
the comprehensive re-organisation of the 1970s. Findings from Spencer
funded research at Manchester Girls' High School (MGHS) published as
"Governing ladies: Women governors of middle-class girls' schools,
1870-1925", in a collection edited by Goodman and Harrop (2000), was
significant in illustrating the importance of the school to the
development of girls' secondary education.
Illustrated by "Working for Change Across International Borders" (2007),
Goodman developed colonial and international dimensions to the research
that were significant in highlighting the international role of women
(head)teachers in developing international citizenship, internationalising
the curriculum, and linking international mobility and the development of
authority in and through women educators' professional work and lives.
This filled a historiographical gap, evidenced in peer reviewed articles
in SSCI-rated journals. "Working for Change Across International Borders"
(2007), provided insights into headteachers' development of international
citizenship; "Social Change and Secondary Schooling for Girls in the "Long
1920s": (2007), demonstrated the international exchange of information
about girls' education by women (head)teachers; "Cosmopolitan Women
Educators, 1929-1939" (2010), showed women educators framing educational
debate internationally, and "Travelling Careers" (2010), co-authored with
CHWE members (2010), demonstrated overseas migration patterns in the
professional lives of women attending Girton and Newnham before 1939.
Goodman also highlighted the significance of the British and
International Federations of University Women (BFUW, IFUW) to the
development of women's professional roles and research careers and to the
internationalisation of women's higher education during the interwar
period. This research was disseminated in peer reviewed articles in
SSCI-rated journals and keynote addresses in the UK and the USA
exemplified by "International Citizenship and the International Federation
of University Women Before 1939" (2011), originally presented as the
Presidential Address to the History of Education Society. The
international dimension in Goodman's research was highly significant in
developments around transnational and comparative approaches to the
historical study of education.
The research underpinning the impact related activities has been
undertaken while Goodman has been Professor of History of Education at the
University of Winchester.
References to the research
2000 Goodman, J. and Harrop, S. Governing ladies: women governors of
middle-class girls' schools, 1870-1925, in J. Goodman and S. Harrop (eds)
Women, Educational Policy Making and Administration in England:
Authoritative Women Since 1800 (Routledge) http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415198585/
(chapter included in Liverpool University RAE2008 submission)
Peer refereed articles (last four included in REF submission)
2007 Working for change across international borders: the Association of
Headmistresses and Education for International Citizenship, Pedagogica
Historica, 43/1: 165-180 (10.1080/00309230601080642)
2007 Social change and secondary schooling for girls in the `Long 1920s':
European engagements, History of Education, 36/4 and 5: 497-513
2010 Cosmopolitan women educators, 1929-1939: Inside/outside activism and
abjection, Paedagogica Historica 46/1and2: 69-83
2010 Travelling careers: overseas migration patterns in the professional
lives of women attending Girton and Newnham before 1939, History of
Education 40/2: 179- 196, with Helen Loader, Andrea Jacobs, Fiona
2011 International Citizenship and the International Federation of
University Women Before 1939, History of Education 40/6: 701-721
Details of the impact
Schools were unaware of the significance of their archival material; some
school archives were at risk; and schools' archival material was not used
for curricular enrichment or to aid communities understand their heritage.
Through discussion of publications with archivists and head-teachers,
presentations to archivists and organisations, and via consultancy, the
research raised schools' consciousness of the importance of their cultural
heritage and their knowledge that they often possess the only historical
records of `ordinary' and `extraordinary' women in their localities. The
case study focuses on impact on heritage preservation and conservation
through the establishment by two schools of Centres for the History of
Girls' Secondary Education which led to impact on the curriculum and
engagement of pupils in cultural events using archival material. Impact
extended through engagement with the British Federation of Women Graduates
(BFWG) around the research, and via BFWG newsletters, and presentations at
BFWG events. Impact gained an international dimension with Goodman's
invitation to join a USA advisory board developing a digital centre for
the history of women's education.
Research insights in "Governing Ladies" were discussed with MGHS's
headteacher to highlight MGHS's importance in the development of girls'
education and led to a successful HLF bid (with Goodman as consultant) to
preserve and conserve the MGHS archive, open it to the public and
establish the Centre for the History of Girls' Schooling, with a web
presence. The Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society funded
digitisation of the photographs for the MHGS archive website
(http://www.mhsgarchive.org/index.php). MGHS advised Wycombe High School
for Girls (WHS) on their successful HlF bid to establish the Centre for
the History of State-Maintained Girls' Schools
MGHS provided access to academic researchers (141 requests), genealogists
(2 each week) and based on HLF expertise offered support to other schools
in preserving their archives (89 occasions), leading to meetings with the
Girls' School Association (GSA) about girls' school archives nationally
(with Goodman). MGHS piloted a GCSE Historical Studies examination for the
OCR exam board based on school archive material.
Understanding about their cultural heritage and the need to conserve
their archives, and about using archive material in the curriculum, was
fostered in a series of conferences MGHS organised for girls' school
archivists. 20 archivists attended in 2004 when Goodman highlighted the
significance of her research and their archival material. Impact on the
curriculum was demonstrated in 2006 when five 2004 attendees presented how
they used their archive with pupils. (MGHS have recorded 109 archive uses
for lessons, speech days and for former pupils, further staff
qualifications, publicity, and talks to local and national groups). At a
2007 GSA conference on school archives, Goodman presented her research to
60 delegates to demonstrate the international significance of women
(head)teachers and the importance of the archives, along with the MGHS
archivist and archivists from the 2006 conference. At the 2008 conference
on "School Archives and the Community", speakers from Manchester Central
Library, the MGHS Marketing Manager, and six archivists, presented to 35
archivists. Further archive conferences and meetings followed. MGHSC
pupils presented poetry and prose from the MGHS archive at the Imperial
War Museum North's International Women's Days and MGHS provided
information for the TES (2006) BBC Radio 4 — Woman's Hour (2007) http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/02/2007_47_thu.shtml),
BBC (2012, series on Home Front WW2), Stone City Films, and Testimony
Films (Grammar Schools, A Secret History (2012), Phare-Est Media (Canada,
2012). At MGHS's suggestion, the Imperial War Museum is setting up a WW1
school archive website, and MGHS is providing sample material.
The more recently established WHS Centre archive is located in a purpose
built room and catalogued with a web-presence, has joined Family History
Society log book project, and advised two secondary schools on setting up
archives. See: http://www.whs.bucks.sch.uk/explore/the-guild/archive
Goodman's invitation as international advisor to the Albert Greenfield
Centre for the History of Women's Education (Bryn Mywr) was based on her
"pioneering work on the history of women's education" (Letter from
The importance Goodman highlighted about the BFUW's role to the
development of professional women and the internationalisation of higher
education led the BFWG to relocate the Sybil Campbell Library (SCC)
(originally located at the BFUW's international hall of residence) to the
University of Winchester in 2006 when the SCC was in danger of dispersal.
The BFWG News carried Goodman's articles on BFUW History to illustrate the
BFUW's significance when the BFWG were working to relocate and open their
archive, which had been closed for 10 years (now relocated to LSE) and she
presented her research at BFWG regional and local events.
Sources to corroborate the impact
Manchester High School for Girls, letter from archivist and records of
engagement with the archive
Wycombe High School for Girls, letter from headmistress
Bid to locate the BFWG's Sybil Campbell Library at the University of
BFWG letter from President.
Letter of invitation to the Albert Greenfield Centre for the Digital
History of Women's Education
from the President, Bryn Mawr College, USA
Names providing statements or evidence:
Archivist, Manchester High School for Girls.
Headmistress, Wycombe High School for Girls.
President, Bryn Mawr College, USA
President, British Federation of Women Graduates.