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  Case: No Women’s Issues Please!
I am a novice middle school social studies teacher. When I was still a student in the middle grades education program, my professors taught me the importance of teaching students about the underrepresented groups such as minorities and women. I have been very sensitive to women’s issues and their perspectives and contributions since I started my job two years ago. Last week, I was teaching my students how to conduct research using Internet resources. To practice their skills, I asked students to do research on accomplishments of a list of women I created. Students were allowed to pick whom they wanted to research. While my female students were very excited about this assignment, three of my male students openly protested the assignment and said that they did not want to waste their time researching about women. I have to deal with this behavior somehow because I will be integrating women’s perspectives into my curriculum regularly in the future. I cannot tolerate this type of behavior continuously. I wonder if these children’s home lives have something to do with their reaction to women’s issues. What should I do?
Solution: (Rates are posted for this solution!)
Another possible solution would be to incorporate the assignment during a study of women's rights, instead of during research. If you're in the middle of a unit on women's rights and have already discussed the importance, the males may be a bit more understanding. You may also start off the assignment by having each student list the influential figures in their lives, whether it be their mother, a teacher, a coach, or any other adult. You could then make a tally of how many women were listed compared to how many men were listed. If more women are listed, then that serves as enough evidence that women play an important role. If more men are listed, then that may lead into a deep discussion on how we view influential figures in America, and thus the importance of recognizing influential women.