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 MARY DAVISON BRADFORD, MEMOIRS

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Mary Davison Bradford, Memoirs

Memoirs of Mary Bradford containing reminiscences of education in Wisconsin, rural school teaching and city superintendent

Description

Born in the farming community of Paris, Kenosha County, in 1856, Mary Davison Bradford was forced by her father's ill health to begin teaching at the age of sixteen--before she had finished high school. She continued to work actively as an educator until 1922. Bradford describes how she taught in small rural schools, in the expanding Kenosha system, and at centers of educational experimentation such as Central State Teachers College at Stevens Point and the Stout Training School at Menomonie. Eventually appointed superintendent of schools in Kenosha, Bradford instituted kindergarten, vocational training programs, breakfast programs for needy children, and politically independent procurement and hiring processes, she advocated courses in citizenship and health education. Bradford's autobiography chronicles the development of Wisconsin's public school system in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Wisconsin had a strong commitment to primary, secondary, and higher public education in this era, and Bradford's work reflects at the grassroots level many of the pedagogic reforms then sweeping the country.
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