Date of Award


Degree Type



Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Carl, James

Subject Headings

Catholic Church -- Education -- United States, Young women -- Education -- United States, Religious education of girls, Teenage girls -- United States -- Social services, Nuns, Convent education, Delinquent girls, Juvenile court, Catholic education, Women's education, Reform school, Good Shepherd Sisters, Child abuse, Sexual abuse


Convent education has sought to impart a set of moral values that would lead to a productive life, both spiritually and socially. The foundress of the Good Shepherd Sisters started a convent-based social service institution for vulnerable women and girls in Europe that evolved into a postsecondary education system in the United States for adolescent girls remanded by the judicial system. Convent education has been an underresearched area in the history of American education, and this dissertation takes parochial education for girls into account in the broad sweep of American educational developments. This historical study utilizes archival research, oral histories, student and teacher memoirs, and secondary sources to explore the Good Shepherd schools for girls in the mid twentieth century United States. The Good Shepherd schools featured manual labor, occupational training, and academic instruction that play a significant role in shaping girls' identities

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