• By Stephanie Garcia, Ph.D. & Dr. Lizdelia Piñón • IDRA Learning Goes On •
The pandemic has proven to take a huge toll on women from their health to employment and child care demands. Women’s History Month is a great time to honor the accomplishments of all those who have worked to make the world a better, more equal place for women. As with other similarly themed months, it is important not to isolate exploration of women’s history and culture into one month during the year.
Women’s history is U.S. history and should be integrated into the curriculum throughout the school year. We consider various ways to encourage students to learn about historical and current women who have made a difference.
Storytelling is a beneficial instructional strategy. It captures students’ attention, helps them make connections or relate to historical and current figures, fosters empathy, and broadens perspectives and understandings. One tool to consider using is called StoryCorp. This virtual platform aims to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. Students of all ages can record interviews with women, create podcasts to discuss historical contributions and more.
Despite all the contributions women have made to STEM, women remain underrepresented in these fields, and their contributions are often overlooked. IDRA has created a Women in STEM infographic to help incorporate historical and hidden figures into the curriculum. For example, Robinne Eller is an entrepreneur who is passionate about supporting girls in STEM and this led to her creating CodeChella and Black Wall St.
Another resource is Unladylike2020 that provides video stories focusing on intrepid women from the turn of the 20th century who managed to break into new professions, step into leadership roles, and fight for suffrage and an end to discrimination. The materials include free lesson plans for middle and high school levels, as well as guides for hosting your own screening, to generate dialog about women in your community. Consider implementing these STEM kits to create equitable learning opportunities in and out of school settings.
From encouraging students to reading literature by women authors to teaching about unsung female scientific pioneers, teachers have the opportunity to uplift women’s contributions, which is vital to building strong citizens of all genders. But cheering on women’s contributions doesn’t need to end when the calendar turns to April! Get inspired and create your project!
[©2022, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the March 23, 2022, edition of Learning Goes On by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]