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Running head: CHANGING A SYSTEM 1Changing a System of Education Through Equal RightsJames KnightEDUC 703Liberty University2020
CHANGING A SYSTEM2AbstractMary Wollstonecraft’s legacy is firmly rooted in the powerful words she constructed against her adversaries. Centuries would pass before the changes she advocated for were validated through the feminist movement. Though she authored many books hoping to change the minds of women who received esteemed press, her genius was often disregarded solely based on her gender. Ironically, she continued to be herald as a revolutionary educational philosopher. At the core of her beliefs was the Divine power, believing that patriarchal rule was not a sufficient consideration to guide the judgment, orlimit the female intellect. Seeking to change contemporary education Wollstonecraft relentlessly challenged the current systems. Her views of women’s rights, however, often overshadowed the practical applications of co-education. Thus far, Mary Wollstonecraft’s brilliance is often delivered not through the context of education, but through her radical views on diminishing the abundant inequalities in society.Keywords:co-education, feminism, human rights, equality, Rousseau
CHANGING A SYSTEM3Changing a System of Education Through Equal RightsMary Wollstonecraft’s contribution to philosophy came at the end of the enlightenment period. Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, where science, politics, and the challenges against the aristocracy influenced much of Wollstonecraft’s writings, she became a feminist crusader for co-education and challenged archaic ideas regarding the established patriarchy (Botting, E. H., 2016; Dumler-Winckler, E., 2015; Gutek, 2011; Niknam, A.T., 2019; Taylor, B., 2016; Tomaselli, S., 2016). Philosophers during the enlightenment era such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau heavily influenced Mary Wollstonecraft’s romantic views of revolting against a system of inherited wealth and limited educational rights for all humans. Similar to Rousseau, Wollstonecraft’s world view was shaped by her traumatic childhood, which she infused into her literary works (Gutek, 2011). She challenged contemporary systems that denied personal freedoms and liberties. A staunch opponent to primogeniture and male-dominated political and social structures, Wollstonecraft secured her place among revolutionary philosophers by artfullyand cynically crafting her rhetoric, demanding the co-education of children (Gutek, 2011). Wollstonecraft’s ability to articulate rebuttals against the popular opinions held by men secured her place among the great philosophers.Her first creative works tackled the lack of education of girls through providing women a quasi-manual, to be read to young women. Her writing later took on a direct political approach through her political treatises, in which she continued her fight against the inequalities of women and the advancement of children’s rights. Her popularity grew, much like Rosseau, due to the clever way in which she articulated her opposition.
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