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Highlighting Women’s Strive With the Help of Brilliant Social Studies Teacher

Women Making History Class at Quakertown High School
Highlighting Womens Strive With the Help of Brilliant Social Studies Teacher

“A few years ago Ms. Liebl had helped facilitate a virtual presentation from the Youth and Prejudice Program from Muhlenberg College.  I took my classes down to see the presentations and the very last presentation was done by a woman whose Jewish grandmother was in Europe during WWII.  She had this miraculous story of how she escaped from a line where she was about to board a train to what we can assume was a concentration camp.  She then ended up fighting with a resistance group in Poland.” Ms. Kemp recalls 

“ I was absolutely enamored with this story and started to think why, as a history teacher, had I never heard any stories like this before, especially about women?” 

Throughout history, men have been applauded for their accomplishments. Rarely do we see women’s efforts however, that doesn’t mean they haven’t done just as much as the men have. It just goes to outline the picture, however, showing how gender equality balances (still not too even). 

In history classes, we learn all about the evolutionary roles men have played. This doesn’t mean women have necessarily been left out. Women certainly don’t pop up as much as men though. Sure you’ve heard of Rosa Parks or  Anne Frank. Maybe Harriet Tubman. Possibly even Amelia Earheart. But how far back do they go? In history, these women aren’t too old. A few hundred years is nothing compared to some of the named men we have been certain to learn. Martin Luther King, Christopher Columbus, Shakespeare. They date back almost double the ‘commonly known” women.

One outstanding teacher here at Quakertown Community High School, Ms. Kemp took it upon herself to highlight a few of the hundreds of exceptional women in our history. Most districts fail to emphasize women’s leads as historiographical standards were male-oriented. 

Curiosity breaks when you wonder why. Qchs offers many courses and opportunities for children, is there a need for another? 

Ms. Kemp initially took her idea to Dr. Zackon, who suggested that she put a proposal together. It then was a go and she began to research; looking for any resources. 

This was a lot harder than I anticipated.  There were textbooks out there but most were geared towards college.  I had a hard time finding something I felt would be appropriate for a high school course.” Kemp explained. This became more of a process than she thought it’d be.

This undertaking ran for a few years, according to Kemp. Where did she see the opportunity that others hadn’t before? 

When speaking with Ms. Kemp, she asked “Did you know a woman was the one who created the precursor to wifi?”. I began to wonder, as I’m sure I didn’t. I couldn’t even think of a name associated with it. There isn’t a person you’d approach who doesn’t use wifi daily in our building. Without wifi, our computers would be down and our days wouldn’t operate correctly. Think about that.

Kemp’s sturdy opinion flowed out and influenced the children who have taken the course as much of what should be common knowledge, is now actually “common knowledge”. She spoke on the need for change. 

 “It is important for us as a society to know all of history, not just the part told to us in our textbooks.  Women make up half the population yet are a tiny fraction of what is taught in school. That needs to change,” she said.

Who can you thank for your daily social media intake? 

“Next time you log on to wifi, use Bluetooth, or GPS,  you can thank Hedy Lamar,” Kemp suggests. All this effort makes you wonder how everyone may be so lacking in the wonders of women’s history. 

The course is run for one semester, and Kemp wonders if she may need to extend it to a full year-long class in the future. She is full of new ideas for improvement in the time ahead but for now, she works harder than ever while she revises all successful and less outcomes.

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About the Contributor
Kaitlyn Bergman
Kaitlyn Bergman, Staff Writer
Kaitlyn Bergman is currently a freshman at Quakertown Community High School. Focusing on school and education her only real hobby is writing. Though also enjoying all things artsy. She enjoys drawing, painting, and such as well. Her goals set for this year are extraordinary; aiming to publish her book which has been in progress for almost 2 years now.

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