Category Archives: Project-based Learning

Telling the Story of Dinah, Manumitted Slave

Top line notes Genny, Dinah, and Titus were manumitted in 1812

While many in town know the story of Old Ti, who was a slave for the Gay family and then manumitted with his two sisters in 1812. Legend, lore, and history tell his story well in town including Joseph Pease’s account book that lists the 5 dollar fee for his coffin in Old Center Cemetery. Because this year’s class focussed on women’s history, classmates discovered a great deal of information about Old Ti’s sisters. We discovered great information about Jenny who lived and worked at the Parson’s Tavern in Springfield, MA. Now we just recently discovered potential pieces of her narrative puzzle in documents from the Watkinson family history. Again, our starting source was this blog post from the winter: https://caisctpbl.wordpress.com/2019/01/26/african-slavery-in-suffield/

If anyone knows another angle of this narrative, please share by commenting below or reaching out to us on Twitter. Thx!

Interview Planning and Oral History Methods

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Interview Planning

In the future to help create history and gain more insight into women’s history and Suffield history, I would like to interview Elaine Sarsynski and keep a record of our interview. I have made a list of questions which I will double check with Mr. Yuan again to make sure they are all ok. I plan on asking her about many questions related Suffield, Women’s history, and maybe a bit of her personal life to shed some further detail on the whole topic. I will make a detailed list of questions and go through them with Mr. Sullivan, the class, and Mr. Yuan before the interview. The main question that I want to answer is what hardships did she encounter on her journey to the top. First, I want to know what hardships she faced because she was a woman when she was young, and in high school and college. Then I want to know if it was harder for her to make her way in the workforce because she was a woman. Then if being a mother complicated her career path more. Then, I want to know why she made the decision to leave the corporate life to make her attempt at politics, did this have anything to do with promoting women’s rights? When she was running for First Selectwoman, what challenges did she face. What challenges did she face just because she was a woman? After winning the position of First Selectperson, what initiatives did she implement were any of them aimed at promoting women’s rights? Are the political parties in local politics much different than the political parties in national politics?

Oral History Methods

Oral history is not folklore, gossip, hearsay, or rumor. Oral historians attempt to verify their findings, analyze them, and place them in an accurate historical context.

Process:

  1. Formulate a central question or issue.
  2. Plan the project. Consider such things as end products, budget, publicity, evaluation, personnel, equipment, and time frames.
  3. Conduct background research.
  4. Prepare questions for interviews
  5. Review questions with classmates and teacher
  6. Interview.
  7. Process interviews.
  8. Evaluate research and interviews and cycle back to
    step 1 or go on to step 7.
  9. Organize and present results.
  10. Store materials archivally.

Why Teens Deserve More Credit for Their Humanity

Laura Kastner, one of the biggest influences in Screenagers explains why teens are not as bad as we make them out to be in her TedTalk “Why Teens Deserve More Credit for Their Humanity”. In Screenagers it is harder for the viewer to see her point of view because her side is highlighted as much. Dr. Kastner explains that teens have always been targeted as trouble makes even as much as 20-30 years ago. Dr. Kastner takes the science route to explain how teens are not to blame. She goes from talking about the science to the social media aspect of how teens are affected. Her main point is that parents tend to stress out and always think of the worst that could happen when it comes to teens, whenever they are in a situation that the parents are worried about. When people hear about teens in the news doing something that affects the community in a positive way,  they become overwhelmed. The reality is that teens are constantly acting in a positive way to help the community. ” Parents don’t have access to the goodness that teens show all day, if only”. This is the strongest line that Dr. Kastner states which sums up her studies of the past years.

Photo Link: https://makingfuturespossible.weebly.com/about.html

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/laurakastnerphd/

 

 

 

What’s News? Our Thoughts…

Spreading the word

Our “What’s News” cycle is a great conversation starter for our A period Project Based Learning class. For this process, everyone in our class prepares a news story to tell to the class summarized. The story could be from any source and could be about a current affairs topic that the student finds interesting and important. When we share a “What’s News” cycle, our class typically feels refreshed and ready to start the day. It wakes us up, helps with our learning for the rest of the day, and keeps us up to date with what’s happening in the world. This is a very engaging way to start class because everyone has to have summarized a news story to tell to the class, and everyone has their computer screen down, which creates more real conversations. The process not only allows us to interact with my classmates but it also gives everyone a voice in the class. While it’s entertaining and interesting it’s also an educational exercise. Ultimately, this activity is interactive, exciting, and beneficial to starting the day off on the right note.

Image Source:

https://www.chstrategies.com.au/whats-news-in-your-world-of-finance/


History of Women’s Athletics

women

When searching the archives for information on women in sports at Suffield Academy, I came across a 1974 issue of The Bell. Dennis Kinne, the athletic director at the time, reached out to the female students, offering them opportunities to participate in male teams such as track & field and cross country.  This is very interesting, especially when comparing this historical moment to Suffield Academy’s athletics today. With women very integrated in our culture today, both athletically and academically. I am interested in finding out more about how women integrated into the athletic aspects of life at Suffield Academy. There must have been certain issues and challenges that Suffield Academy had to overcome involving athletic integration that would be very cool to discover and bring to light. Researching this topic will also bring to light the issues of gender equality present during the 1970’s, and I am very interested in comparing that to Suffield today. Another aspect of Suffield Academy’s history that I am interested in learning about is title IX and how it affected the athletics teams. Did Suffield lose any teams or gain any teams after title IX was enacted? This is an aspect I am hoping to learn about along with co-educational teams becoming competitive on campus.

Connecticut Women’s Organizations

Many people have heard of the big international women’s groups like the National Organization for Women. I would like to investigate women’s organizations here in Connecticut. Through my preliminary research I have come upon local chapters of the big women’s organizations. I want to know who started them and if anyone of interest joined any of these organizations. The organizations I would like to look into are: Daughters of the American Revolution, The Women’s Committee of the Council of National Defense, Connecticut Branch of the Housewives League, and Connecticut Women Suffrage Association.

 

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Newspaper article from the Hartford Courant talking about the different Woman’s Organizations meeting and the different women who head them up.

 

Driving Question:

How much did women organizations do to improve the life and rights of women?

Skills Required:

Researching and precise reading of sources.

Source:

“WOMAN ORGANIZE DEFENSE COMMITTEE.” The Hartford Courant (1887-1922), Jun 02, 1917, pp. 8. ProQuest, https://search.proquest.com/docview/556481481?accountid=46995.

How we can Help our future

Teens and millennials in today’s world face numerous issues but one the biggest issues they face is depression. In today’s fast-moving world social media plays a big part in the life of millennials. Since millennials spend large amounts of time on their phones it affects the way they live their life. Millennials go on social media and see how well other people are doing, how pretty someone is, how strong someone is or even how smart someone is. This causes millennials to look down on themselves for not being as good as what they see. The reality is that nobody is ever going to stop posting just because of how it makes others feel. So, what are we going to do about it? In our PBL class we are finding a problem and a solution for adolesence. The first step is to help millennials facing this issue, and not to ignoring it. A lot of times because of social media millennials don’t admit when they are depressed but if we let them know that people are willing to help the that is the first step in the right direction.

Image: https://www.erikaslighthouse.org