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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Times and Attitudes Have Changed

 I am proud of the modern woman educator! Times and attitudes about women and about educators have changed a great deal since 1929 and the early days of this Society. In those days women with careers were rather unusual. Women were expected to devote themselves to domesticity, and women who did not were considered a bit odd. Social norms caused people to look askance at women who united for any reason except to be a social group.

The first sororities and fraternities were formed in the mid-1800s by students who met in secret, usually to discuss issues or to debate topics their faculties did not deem appropriate.  Thus when we Founders formed an organization for women educators we risked censure by our colleagues and much of the population because of prevailing social attitudes. Social norms of the time forced us to assume the appearance of a sorority, and we adopted many of the accoutrement of a sorority—Greek name, keypin, song, emblem, secrecy, rituals, and careful selection of members. 

We twelve did not view our organization as purely social; we wanted to provide a haven for women educators that would unify and empower them to use their combined strength and energy to make them better teachers with opportunities to excel in their classrooms and in their careers. A sorority-like image was the only way we knew to do that.

Now women are expected to have careers, to be professionals. They do not need the protection of a sorority persona. Social culture now expects women to speak with authority and fervor about their careers. I say to you, DKG members, acknowledge that times and attitudes have changed and make changes with DKG that proudly proclaims and advances a professional image. I exhort you to make changes in the Society that express the status of women that social norms have come to expect, accept, and encourage. I want you to live up to your modern image. Take pride in the united spirit of professionalism!


  1. Modern women educators or modern woman educator? Grammarians want to know! I will read the rest from a laptop. The font is too small on my phone...

  2. Amen ! Our organization of professional women needs to drop the sorority trappings and relate to the professional world. I am proud of my professional membership in DKG, however, the first "trapping" that needs to go is the Greek name of our organization and the Greek referral to our states and chapters. Using the initials DKG does that somewhat, but the initials have no instant recognition. We could at this time move to a name that more appropriately stands for who we are and what we do. Examples: Women Educators International (WE), Key Women Educators International, Association of Women Educators International (AWE). I think this would be a dynamic step forward in re-branding our organization and would result in instant recognition of what we promote within our organization. It is time to Think about it !


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