A New DAR Museum Teacher Resource

Written by: Katherine Custer, DAR Museum Intern
January 9, 2018

This fall, the DAR Museum has produced its first downloadable teacher resource, thanks to an internship sponsored by North Carolina State Society. Inspiring Change: Women’s Education in 19th Century America is available online through the Museum’s Education page and through the Educational Resources Committee lesson plans page as well.

This resource is designed for 8th-12th grade classrooms and aims to explore female education and the improvements which lead to the Women’s Rights Movement in the 19th century. The resource is comprised of three lessons that can be adapted to the needs of individual classrooms. Using an object-based exploration strategy to facilitate conversation, educators can demonstrate how objects may be used as primary sources for understanding history. All objects are from the DAR Museum Collection, offering teachers and students the opportunity to learn from rare items not often on public display.

Lesson 1 asks the question, “How do society’s expectations influence education?” It looks at the early curricula of female education and explores what the societal expectations of women were at the time. This lesson highlights some of the museum’s 19th century samplers. 

Lesson 2 asks the question, “How do we determine the value of education?” It considers why education is a valuable asset for empowering individuals and looks at an example of early advocacy for improved women’s education. 

Lesson 3 asks, “What makes attitudes towards education change over time?” This lesson shows examples of progressive female education in the 19th century and explores some of the obstacles women faced in obtaining their rights. One of the highlighted objects includes a unique set of hand-stitched globes made at the Westown School in Pennsylvania in 1822. 

The resource also includes downloadable images of the objects, 360º videos of the stitched globes, and a number of primary source documents. Students are invited to explore all of these items through guided conversation and suggested classroom activities.

We hope this resource will be a useful tool for educators desiring to introduce an important aspect of women’s history to their classes. If you have any questions regarding the use or download of these items, please contact museum@dar.org

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