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Ellen Essay

Ellen was born on December 11, 1849, and died on April 25, 1926.Born into a wealthy family, Ellen Key enjoyed the benefits of a good education.When her father became a liberal member of the Swedish parliament, Ellen gained a solid political foundation.She began teaching in Stockholm in the late 1870s and soon after began lecturing on social issues.Ellen’s views were decidedly pro-woman, although some early feminists bridled against the great value Ellen attached to motherhood and to issues such as legal protection of women and children.
In many ways, Ellen idealized the role of women as mothers.In her view, women had great potential as advocates of peace as they raised and educated the next generation.Believing motherhood to be a fundamental pillar of society, she argued that women should stay at home to bring up their children.Women without children, however, should enter the political arena in the role of peacemakers and peacekeepers.In 1900, Ellen published a ground-breaking book, The Century of the Child that explained her views on education and family.
Key promoted a “new school” that would really prepare children for life, by adapting to the children’s own world and creating a learning experience through their own activity.An important aspect of The Century of the Child was the book’s plea for a more active role of the parents.In Key’s view, the school ought not to do what parents could easily do themselves: she argued that in some respects, home education might be preferred to school education.In general, she urged parents to give more attention to their children.In this respect, her views fitted in a long tradition of pedagogical criticism of parents’ behavior.The great value she attached to motherhood, and consequently to issues such as legal protection of women and children, brought her in conflict with some other early-1900s feminists, although in fact she shared many feminist ideals such as w…

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