Implementation of ‘Changing role of women in early 20th century’ (SOI-GR-13)

Choosing the Learning Scenario

The LS “Changing role of women in early 20thcentury”, created by Niina Vantanen, was chosen in order to celebrate  Women’s History Month. The main objectives were to help students understand that universal suffrage was rather recently achieved in most European countries and associate this achievement with historical events such as the two World Wars of the 20thcentury. The implementation of this LS was linked both to the subject of Civics as well as to 9thgrade History. The author of the LS indicated 75 minutes as the minimum teaching time needed; it actually took 3 sessions of 45 minutes each for all the activities to be completed.

Looking into Our Country

Instead of starting with the suffragettes’ movement, and proceeding to the current situation in Greece, as suggested in the original LS, students worked the other way round. They first researched the history of female suffrage in Greek and of the female presence in the Greek Parliament. Their discussions concluded that women are not represented sufficiently. That normally, they are not appointed to the most prominent ministries.  

Mapping Women’s Suffrage History

Students were asked to find information about universal suffrage in European countries. When they finished, members of the groups put post-it notes with the dates each country that offered the right to vote to women on a map of Europe hanging on the classroom wall.

After that, they collaboratively created a digital map of female suffrage in Europe, inserting all the information they found. They colored the countries that gave women the right to vote around the same time with the same color. Then, they observed that the two World Wars played a significant role: many men were killed and women successfully took on traditionally masculine roles. 


Digital map of female suffrage in Europe, created by students

Looking at Photographs 

The last activity took the class back to the beginning of the 19thcentury when it all began. Students were shown the five pictures from the Europeana collection suggested by the original LS.  They were asked to research in groups the term suffragette. As well as the names of Emily Pankhurst, Emily Davison, and Mary Richardson, depicted in the photos. They finally created a timeline depicting the expansion of the universal suffrage in the course of the 20thcentury. 

Students searching for information about ‘suffragettes’, using Europeana Collections.

Evaluation

The whole project ran smoothly. Students were actively engaged in the activities and worked effectively in groups. The Europeana resources, used in the last activity, helped students visualize the events they researched. The fact that they were original pictures of the time fascinated them. Also, it stimulated curiosity and desire to learn more about the events and the people shown.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario ? 

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