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  • Mary Ann Rutherford Lipscomb: Educating the Future

    Mary Ann Rutherford Lipscomb’s life was based on the philosophy that education was the key to a successful and productive future, especially for women. Her entire life is a reflection of bringing that philosophy to life—for herself, other women, and for all the children growing up in Georgia.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. Describe the ways in which Mary Ann Lipscomb’s vision for education lives on today.
     
    2. Explain how the passing of compulsory education laws helped reduce child labor in the mills. 

    Expansion

    1. Mary Ann Lipscomb’s vision for education included skills that would be used on the farm for boys or in the home, such as cooking and cleaning, for girls. In small groups, discuss what kinds of “real world” skills are addressed—or should be addressed—in schools today. Think about the community a school serves and whether those skills should vary by location or other factors. 

    Vocabulary

    compulsory education laws: laws that require children to attend a public or state-accredited private school for a certain period of time
    finance: the way in which money is used and handled 
    child labor: the use of children in industry or business, especially when illegal or considered inhumane

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. Describe the ways in which Mary Ann Lipscomb’s vision for education lives on today.
    Mary Ann Lipscomb sought to ensure that every child—regardless of race, gender, or economic background—received a quality education. Today, schools offer a variety of subjects, including vocational training, and there are compulsory education laws that require all children to attend school for a certain about of time. Both of these aspects of education can be attributed to Mary Ann Lipscomb’s efforts. 
     
    2. Explain how the passing of compulsory education laws helped reduce child labor in the mills. 
    Although Mary Ann Lipscomb’s efforts to enact child labor laws were not successful during her time, she was still able to ensure that children attended school rather than work in the mills. The passing of compulsory education laws now required children to attend school for a certain period of time. This was time that children could not work and were therefore were sparred long days of hard labor.

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