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COLLECTION Identifier: Vt-87

Videotape collection of the Massachusetts Association for Women in Education, 1994


Videotape of the fall 1994 conference of the Massachusetts Association for Women in Education.


  • 1994

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the videotapes created by the Massachusetts Association for Women in Education is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Videotapes may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1 videotapes

"Welcome to Cyberspace: Gender and Diversity in the World of Computers," at Springfield Technical Community College on October 21, 1994, the fall conference of the Massachusetts Association for Women in Education (formerly Massachusetts Association for Women Deans, Administrators, and Counselors), featured Dorothy Bennett, Senior Research Associate at the Center for Children and Technology, as the keynote speaker. Bennett asserts that men and women relate differently to technology, that girls are taught to be computer users while boys, to be computer designers, and that curriculum can be developed to encourage female students. Also included is a panel discussion followed by audience questions.


The genesis of the Massachusetts Association for Women in Education began in 1921 with an informal group of high school deans, women who were interested in the status of women and girls in education and were pioneers in the student personnel profession. In late 1924 the group became the Massachusetts Branch of the National Association of Deans. In 1928 the group became independent of the national organization and was renamed the Massachusetts Association of Deans and Advisors of Girls. Early meetings were convened during the meetings of the Association of Junior and Senior High School Principals. The aims of the group were to determine the duties of dean (a new position for secondary schools) and to discuss societal influences on, and opportunities for, adolescent girls. The preface to the 1972 Constitution and By-laws includes the early history, with a list of presidents from 1924 to 1976. In the fall of 1961 the name was changed to include Counselors (Massachusetts Association of Women Deans and Counselors), and in 1973 to the Massachusetts Association of Women Deans, Administrators, and Counselors (MAWDAC). By 1991 the name had changed to the Massachusetts Association for Women in Education.

Meetings were held annually in the spring until 1937, when a fall meeting was added. Annual meetings included discussion of organizational business, a presentation by an outside speaker, and a report from the national (National Association of Women Deans, Administrators, and Counselors) meeting, if a member had attended. Executive Committee meetings were called when necessary. In 1964 MAWDAC discontinued its co-sponsorship of annual conferences with the Secondary School Principals Association. It continued to sponsor two large membership meetings a year. Committee meetings and additional programs were scheduled periodically; they provided "networking," information, and support.

In 1946 the Membership Committee initiated a drive to attract college deans to MAWDAC, but until the late 1950s members were almost entirely from secondary schools, except for several from the state teachers' colleges and Lasell Junior College. From 1924 until 1949 presidents of MAWDAC came from secondary schools. From 1951 until 1974 the presidency usually alternated between college and secondary school members; since then the presidents have been college and university women.

The issues raised in the minutes and the titles of the programs held over the years parallel the larger society's interest in the education, counseling, and guidance of girls and women. In the early years, when counseling and guidance were new fields, the founders of MAWDAC were interested in sharing experiences and learning from each other. They were concerned with helping their students expand their horizons through education. In the late 1940s and 1950s the coordination between college admissions personnel and high school personnel increased. The array of educational and guidance issues raised at MAWDAC conferences included admission at women's colleges, college entrance tests, financial aid and scholarships, preparing women for the transition to college, and increased communication between guidance and admissions offices.

According to a 1983 brochure, "MAWDAC is a professional organization for women in all levels of education.... The purpose of MAWDAC is to provide programs, information and services which enhance the personal and professional growth of its membership. Anticipating the changing needs of its members, the Association acts to assure a strong and equal role for women in all aspects of education." The motto is "to serve women in education and the education of women."

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Records of the Massachusetts Association for Women in Education, 1925-2000 (MC 367).

Massachusetts Association for Women in Education. Videotape collection of the Massachusetts Association for Women in Education, 1994: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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