The Ten Questions are not just an add-on to my project (Unsung Women Change Agents). They bring in a new critical lens through which my students can read the historical figures and events from a participatory democracy outlook. ––Sohyun An
Teacher educators are the key players who will enable the Ten Questions to take root in K-12 education. Sohyun An, associate professor at Kennesaw State University, teaches an elementary social studies methods course. She applies Ten Questions to a class project in which elementary preservice teachers research and perform their chosen unsung women heroes in a role play called Unsung Women Change Agents.
Other than already renowned figures, such as Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony and Harriet Tubman, A number of women bravely stood up and fought for a just and democratic vision. Many of them are neither introduced in school textbooks nor held in public memory, though. In An’s class, preservice teachers uncover women who contributed to social change in the U.S. history but have been forgotten. Preservice teachers write narratives about those female change makers, following the Ten Quesitons. One day in March, preservice teachers throw a tea party in which they perform a role play about their unsung heros based on the narratives (see the original description of the project here).
What made An adopt the Ten Questions in her project?
An has been avoiding a superhero-centered approach in history education, especially in the elementary level. “Ten Questions are not just an add-on to my project (Unsung Women Change Agents),” she said, “but they bring in a critical lens through which my students can analyze the historical figures from a participatory democracy outlook. Our democracy is not built on the epics of a few superheroes but on the sacrifice and collective efforts made by a great number of ordinary citizens. The latter is as important as––sometimes more important than––the former.”
See the student projects listed below.
On March 1, 2017, KSU preservice teachers presented their projects, Unsung Women Change Agents. Grace Lee Boggs, Lee Miller, Claudette Colvin, Alice Piper, Helen Keller, Lillian Smith, Eliza Briggs, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Bella Savitsky Abzug are among the chosen unsung women change agents; their narratives were introduced in the brochures based on the Ten Questions. Please check the student brochures below.
The Ten Questions for Change Makers
1. Why does it matter to me?
2.How much should I share?
3. How do I make it about more than myself?
4. Where do we start?
5. How can we make it easy and engaging for others to join in?
6. How do we get wisdom from crowds?
7. How do we handle the downside of crowds?
8. Are we pursuing voice or influence or both?
9. How do we get from voice to change?
10. How can we find allies?