Evelyn Wood (1909-1995) was the developer of the speed-reading
system, which allowed for the increase of the speed of reading up to five times
while increasing retention. The system was further developed into a successful
business with over 150 outlets across the United States.
She studied English and Business, and developed her speed-reading method
in 1959. She was capable of reading around 2700 words per minute, compared to the
average of 250-300.
Nabawiyya Musa (1886-1951)
is one of the leading Egyptian feminists of the 20th century. She
was a dedicated advocate for female education and sexual empowerment in her
country, going against traditional norms.
In 1907, she was the first girl in Egypt to
finish high school. She went on to become a teacher and promoted equal
opportunities in education, eventually becoming a lecturer at the newly-founded
Egyptian University. Her advocacy also focused on ending sexual violence
against women and empowering them to be a part of the workforce and Egyptian
Cabot Agassiz (1822-1907)
was a pioneer of female education and academic endeavours. Among other
accomplishments, she was the co-founder and first president of Radcliffe
In 1869 she became one of the first female
members of the American Philosophical Society. From 1879 onwards, the so-called
“Harvard Annex” for female education grew under her care to become Radcliffe College
and offer women the same academic possibilities as men.
Betty Campbell (1934-2017) was the first black head teacher in
Wales. She held this position at the Mount Stuart Primary School in Cardiff.
Born in a
low-income, working-class family, she nevertheless won a scholarship at the Lady
Margaret High School for Girls, which paved her way towards a teaching career.
She was a member of the Commission for Racial Equality and was awarded an MBE
for her services to education.
Collins (1936-2015) was an educator who, in 1975, founded the Westside Preparatory
School in an impoverished area of Chicago. By doing this, she offered black
children from low-income families the possibility to receive a proper education.
Her school became an instant success, and operated for more than 30 years
under her and her daughter’s leadership, until 2008. She was asked by two
Presidents to be Secretary of Education, but refused each time in favour of focusing
on the individual needs of her students. She was awarded a National Humanities
Medal in 2004.
Isabelle Gati de Gamond (1839-1905) was a
Belgian feminist and educationalist. She was a champion of female education in
In 1862, she launched a journal
called L’Education de la Femme (Women’s Education), promoting schooling
for girls. Even though her cause was violently opposed by the conservative
press, she persevered and launched the first secondary school courses for girls
in 1864, the first secular education opportunity for women in Belgium.