Training Loving Hands: Women's Vocational. Education in 1920s, Mexico City
Schell, Patience A.
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During the 1920s, the revolutionary governments responded to demands for educational expansion. The federal Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP) founded new primary schools, embarked upon a nationwide campaign against illiteracy and opened public libraries in rural areas, union meeting halls and prisons. For José Vasconcelos, Minister of Public Education 1921-1924, technical education was the means to create the generations of skilled workers Mexico needed. From Mexico City’s technical schools emerged the construction workers who would rebuild Mexico and the electricians who would light the cities. This paper begins by examining the Justifications for women's vocational education and discussing the courses in each institution. Next, we will enter classrooms to examine how students, teachers and administrators altered or enhanced SEP programmed to benefit their own agendas. For this end, I will present two case studies: one concerning the dissemination of birth control information and the other concerning cooking and dress-making classes. PenuInma1ely, this paper will exams night schools aimed specifically at working women. Finally, we will turn to the students themselves. Who were they, what their motivations for furthering their education were and what became of them?
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