Lucy Wheelock

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Lucy Wheelock (February 1, 1857 - October 2, 1946) was an educator and founder of Wheelock College, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.

She was born in Cambridge, Vermont, the daughter of Edwin Wheelock and Laura Pierce. Her father was a Congregational minister and superintendent of schools, and also served in the Vermont state legislature. After early education in local schools and at home, Lucy attended Underhill Academy, then went to high school in Reading, Massachusetts, where she graduated in 1874.

After a brief stint teaching back home in Vermont, Lucy Wheelock went to the Chauncy Hall School, Boston, to prepare for entrance to Wellesley College. After visiting a kindergarten class, however, she decided that was her vocation. On the advice of Elizabeth Peabody, she attended the Kindergarten Training School in Boston. She graduated in 1879 and returned to Chauncy Hall to teach kindergarten.

In 1888 the Boston public schools added kindergartens, and Miss Wheelock began a one-year training program for teachers at Chauncy Hall. The school was a success, and she expanded it to two years, then turned it into an independent school. Later the school added training for primary and nursery school teachers. The school moved to its permanent location, 100 The Riverway, Boston, in 1914.[1]

Lucy Wheelock served on several crucial national committees focused on issues in kindergarten education and teacher training. She served as president of the International Kindergarten Union (IKU) from 1895-1899. She chaired the so-called Committee of Nineteen, appointed by the IKU to prepare a definitive report on the status of kindergarten philosophy and methods. She addressed education issues with a number of national groups, and wrote books on kindergarten education.

Miss Wheelock received an honorary doctorate from the University of Vermont in 1925.

Lucy Wheelock retired in 1939. At that time the Wheelock School was incorporated and became Wheelock College.

Lucy Wheelock died on October 1, 1946.[1]


"Report of the Committee of Nineteen." Proceedings of the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the International Kindergarten Union, April, 1907, New York City. Cleveland, Ohio: Electric Printing Co., 1907

Lucy Wheelock, Talks to Mothers (1920).

Lucy Wheelock, ed. Pioneers of the Kindergarten in America(1923).


  1. ^ a b "Wheelock College Library: Milestones: A Timeline of Wheelock College". 1947-10-01. Retrieved 2012-08-25. 


  • Catherine C. DuCharme. "Lucy Wheelock: Her Life and Work" Childhood Education 76 no. 3, 164-9. Spring 2000.
  • Abigail Adams Eliot, "Lucy Wheelock." In Edward T. James, ed., Notable American Women 1607-1950 (Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1971).
  • Durward Howes, ed. American Women: The Official Who's Who Among the Women of the Nation, 1935-36. Los Angeles: Richard Black Publishing Co., 1935, p. 585.
  • Albert Nelson Marquis, ed. Who's Who in New England, 2nd ed. Chicago: AN Marquis & Co., 1916, p. 1139.
  • Wheelock College Library – Milestones: A Timeline of Wheelock College
  • Biography of Lucy Wheelock

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