New curriculum focuses on Women’s Rights in Utah

New curriculum focuses on Women’s Rights in Utah. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - This summer, class is still in session for Utah school teachers, as they learn about a new curriculum aimed to help educate our children about our state’s rich history regarding women’s rights.

Utah school teachers are spending the next week at the University of Utah’s Tanner Humanities Center to learn about a new curriculum, which has big online and interactive components.

“It’s a great opportunity for Utah teachers to develop this depth of knowledge from leading scholars and to be able to share this with the students in Utah,” said Naomi Watkins, director of education with Better Days 2020.

The group Better Days 2020 helped showcase the new curriculum to a group of 30 teachers from throughout the state. These teachers will return to their communities to show others the curriculum, including educators.

“By dealing with 30 teachers, they impact 30 among 30 among 30 for years,” said University of Utah Tanner Humanities Center Director Bob Goldberg. “The idea is to energize teachers to involve students.”

Just 2 years away from an important year in women’s suffrage history, Watkins says now is the time to start teaching our children about the proud history Utah has with women’s rights.

“In 2020, we have 3 anniversaries for Women’s Suffrage,” she said. “With these anniversaries coming up, we want people to have a conversation about how history influences the present and the future.”

Those include the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment being ratified, the 150th anniversary of the first women vote in a modern nation, Seraph Young, and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act.

The Jordan School District started a pilot program last school year to reported success. Future plans include expanding this curriculum to U.S. History courses (5th and 11th grades) and language arts classrooms with a pilot program expected to commence in fall 2018. This curriculum is open-access and includes an expanding library of Utah core-aligned lesson plans, tools for primary-source document analysis, short biographies, informational articles, interactive timeline and activities, read-aloud options, and materials for families.

You can find out more information about the organization at BetterDays2020.org and utahwomenshistory.org.


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