The teacher educator and the suffragist: Lillian de Lissa and Muriel Matters’ activism in Australia and the United Kingdom

Kay Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Focusing on the transnational circulation of ideas about suffrage and education, this article explores the work of suffragist Muriel Matters (1877–1969), and teacher educator Lillian de Lissa (1885–1967). It begins with Matters’ and de Lissa’s childhoods and education in post-suffrage Australia, and their initial work as an actress and kindergarten teacher respectively. The second section focuses on the development of their politics when Matters migrated to England in 1905 and joined the Women’s Freedom League, and de Lissa became the foundation principal of the Adelaide Kindergarten Training College in 1907. The third section discusses their engagement with Maria Montessori’s educational approach, which Matters incorporated into her socialist feminist activism during the First World War, and which led to de Lissa’s recruitment to England as a liberal feminist teacher educator in 1917. The final section highlights their advocacy for Montessori education in the United Kingdom during the interwar years.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalHistory of Education
Early online date2 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Montessori education
  • national identity
  • Suffragists
  • transnational history
  • women educators

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