Educational Administration, Department of


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Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, Vol. 6, No. I-January 2008 ISSN: 1541-6224


Copyright © 2008 Pro>Active Publications. Used by permission.


Leta Stetter Hollingworth gave what she had to human beings through her life as a poet, a scholar, a researcher, a feminist, an educational psychologist, and a powerful advocate for gifted children. Leta was born on a homestead near Chadron, Nebraska, on May 25, 1886. Her mother died when she was three years old, so she and her two younger sisters went to live with their maternal grandparents. When Leta was twelve, she and her sisters went to live with their father and stepmother in Valentine, Nebraska. After graduating from high school, she attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, receiving a teaching certificate and her B.A degree in 1906. That same year she became engaged to classmate Harry L. Hollingworth. The couple married on December 31, 1908, and lived in New York City where Harry was earning his Ph.D. as a graduate assistant to psychologist James Cattell. After teaching for two years in Nebraska high schools, Leta was unable to work because of a New York City law prohibiting married women from teaching. She began graduate studies at Columbia University and received an M.A. in Education in 1913, and a Ph.D. in Education in 1916. Upon graduation, she became an instructor at Columbia in Educational Psychology, where she began her innovative studies of the education of gifted children.