Rethinking history lessons: Virginia teenager designs curriculum recognizing women of color

As a young girl of coloration, Prasidha Padmanabhan observed that stories about females, and particularly gals of shade, are typically neglected in U.S. history publications. So she determined to just take matters into her have fingers.

The 17-calendar year-aged Virginia higher faculty scholar is major a modern day-working day crusade to rewrite the history guides in just one of the country’s most significant school districts. She’s making an total system of examine for elementary and center college college students in Virginia’s Fairfax County, where her curriculum has by now been adopted by some lecturers.

CBS News’ Nikole Killion spoke with Padmanabhan for the “CBS Mornings” collection “Changing the Activity,” which profiles incredible women who are producing a variation now and for long term generations. The teen told her she was enthusiastic by her individual expertise with the absence of training around women’s record.

“I am a to start with-technology Indian and my mom’s an Indian immigrant,” she said. “And so I believe rising up hearing her tales has always been some thing I preferred to find out far more about and been impressed by.”

Padmanabhan founded a group referred to as Don — Girls for Education, Advocacy and Rights. The corporation launched a petition final yr to integrate a lot more women’s historical past in their neighborhood colleges.

Just about every lesson in her curriculum is crafted as a presentation to spark discussions about activity-altering woman figures. It handles anything from the Groundbreaking War to the civil rights movement and highlights ladies like Claudette Colvin and Sybil Ludington.

“We all know Paul Revere was the man who explained that the British are coming. But Sybil Ludington was a 16-12 months-old lady who rode horseback right away to supply the exact same specific concept,” Padmanabhan stated.

“Claudette Colvin began the Montgomery bus boycott. She basically began it nine months right before Rosa Parks,” she claimed.

The work arrives amid a heated debate about general public instruction curriculums in Virginia. Before this calendar year, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed an government get banning community academic packages that he promises are “inherently divisive,” like essential race theory.

“What do you say to any dad and mom out there or learners who feel, ‘Why am I discovering this? Why should I have to find out this?'” Killion questioned her.

“If we disregard what genuinely transpired in our background, then we’re not getting the entire image and we’re not heading to be knowledgeable citizens,” Padmanabhan mentioned.

The curriculum caught the consideration of Deborah March, an training professional who linked her with Fairfax County teachers.

“Prasidha really helped us carry up the person stories and contributions of women,” March reported.

Julie Kouril, who teaches sixth-grade American heritage, reported this is a lesson for pupils and educators.

“We featured 5 distinct ladies in the lesson now and I’d never ever listened to of any of them,” she claimed.

Padmanabhan said her target is for each individual student in Virginia and throughout the country to learn “equally” about women’s contributions.

“I don’t at any time want a scholar to inquire the concern, ‘Why does women’s record issue?'” she explained. “I want women’s history to be record and I want that to be a concept that each scholar learns and understands.”

Sharon Eva

Next Post

Fox News host suggests U.S. "should not have the government involved in education at all"

Wed May 11 , 2022
Fox News host Lisa Kennedy said on Monday that U.S. lawmakers “should not have the government involved in education at all,” suggesting that America should rid itself of the public school system entirely.  Kennedy’s remarks came during Monday’s segment of “Outnumbered” in which Kennedy was facilitating a discussion around the […]