University of Maine Education Students Respond to AWTT

On April 23, 2013, Connie Carter and Rob Shetterly were invited to introduce AWTT to University of Maine Education students enrolled in EDB 202 -- Education in a Multicultural Society.

The students were then asked to think about how AWTT could be useful to them as teachers. They were given two prompts to help them make their responses more specific. What follows are the prompts and, most importantly, the students' response to the AWTT presentation.   

 

The Prompts:

• As a future educator, what themes, approaches, topics has the AWTT material made

you want to consider using in your teaching?

• What is the responsibility of the teacher to inspire active and engaged citizens

and what are two or three ways can they do that?

Responses:

• As a future educator this material has shown me that all teachers really need to look at more of the truth.

• Although I am not sure that I will be an educator, I believe that this material is important.  Understanding multiculturalism, peace acts, and the many different topics we discussed are necessary to understand the world that we live in.  These people's stories show a view that isn't widely presented in the media or history books and they give everyone someone to relate to in history and encourage us to become much more active in our community and our world. 

•It is important to invoke the opportunity of voice not only within the classroom, but also as a value used throughout the rest of a student's lifetime.  To spark that realization that involvement and voice can truly make changes in the world is a beautiful lesson a teacher can give her students.  By showing and teaching stories about heroes, both known and unknown, we instill the idea that people can truly make a difference.  Change and Power can come from the voice of an elementary student.  We all have the power to stand up for what is right, and through this small step begin to be move wards great change, aware ness, and realizations. 

• One of the themes I liked a lot about this material was the idea that any one can be great if they have the courage to be great.  While some of the people painted were very famous, a lot of them were not famous at all.  I hope to inspire the idea that you do not have to be strong or beautiful or famous to be great.  You simply need the drive to do so. 

• Just using this site will allow kids to know, even if they're never portrayed in the media, that good people do exist.  I think that is the biggest thing I'd focus on – and hopefully inspire them that they can strive to do similar things, that they can spark change.

• I want to incorporate more 'truthful history' and learning into the curriculum.  I think it's important for kids to know the real truth instead of just what they see on TV.

• One theme is definitely the truth.  It's surprising how much information is hidden from us.  We live in an age where exposing the truth is something that can be looked down upon and put us at risk (whistleblowers).  I want my students to know the difference between the truth and the whole truth.  Giving them resources to find the truth is something I aim to do.  After all, in order to know how to help the world, we have to know what kind of world we really live in.  That, and everyone deserves the truth. 

•This has given me the idea for a project in my Art class.  In class I will have the students pair up with another kid they don't usually talk to, don't hang with and have them paint one another.  And write, or include in the symbolic – themes, things they either enjoy or believe; or even ask a world problem and see how they would solve it.

• This material, especially the Website, is an excellent resource to teach about modern/American history.  I especially like the musicians included in the "fine arts" section.  It would be very easy to use this for a presentation on American musicians for a music history and fundamentals of music class. 

• I really think it would be a good idea to ask my students to look at this Website and pick 2-3 people who really speak to them and really think about why they wanted to pick them. Challenging my students to be better and think broader than the small box that society has pre-made for educators. 

•  To show that people who are relatable to students are making a difference in this world.  It also gives more resources to give students a real picture of history and not the clouded view in textbooks.  Also to show students that people who are famous for doing inspiring, amazing things began as students and as everyday people.  The Website is also great because students can interact with it themselves and explore people they are interested in. 

• I like the idea of using this artwork to guide our learning of history.  In fact, this makes me think of the text we read by Jensen and how hard it is to incorporate art into all of the subjects we'll teach, and I think this could help in an interdisciplinary approach.  …Each of these people had important lessons that they gave to the U. S. and the world and I will definitely make use of this in my classroom.