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ERIC Number: EJ1002130
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Methods in Teaching Region and Diversity in U.S. Western Women's History
Jackson-Abernathy, Brenda K.
History Teacher, v46 n2 p215-229 Feb 2013
History teachers may well feel challenged with the task of bringing women into their American West curriculums due to the great diversity of women in the West during the nineteenth century. At the same time, the past thirty years or so have produced a plethora of monographs, articles, and primary source collections on women in the American West. So even though many textbooks persist in telling the traditional "great men and great deeds" western history with women relegated to the background, source materials continue to become available on women in the West--though, regrettably, still not in large quantity on all groups of those women. Where teaching methods are concerned, the author finds micro-histories very effective as a means of bringing women into her western curriculums. Micro-histories are also useful when source materials on specific groups of women are in limited supply. Primary source material pertaining to Native American women in the early to mid-nineteenth century, for instance, is scarce, making the micro-history method, perhaps, the best available for conveying the desired information. Finally, for micro-histories to be most effective, teachers must take care to impart this important point to their students: "a micro-history is neither a survey nor is it intended to act in the place of a synthesis; instead, it is a case study intended to assist students in understanding a greater, general history." In order to provide clear and concise thoughts and suggestions on ways teachers might incorporate women more fully into their western history curriculums, the author focuses here on women from three western regions: the Native American region, the overland trail and settlement region, and the western mining towns region. While these represent but a small sampling of nineteenth-century women, and nineteenth-century western regions, the thoughts and suggestions are effective for bringing most groups of western women, from most western regions, into the curriculum. (Contains 17 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A