Learning to Make A Difference from Women in American History

Students in Notre Dame Academy’s Women in American History class are learning how they can make a difference in the world by looking to women from the past. The students recently held a luncheon honoring women from 1950 on who had a significant influence on American history.  At the event, each student gave a brief presentation on a woman they deemed as a trailblazerhumanitarian, or activist. Women such as Sally Ride, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Marian Wright Edelman as well as many others were recognized. The students also welcomed women who have made a difference in their lives to the luncheon. 

This was the first semester that this class, Women in American History, was taught at NDA. The course moves through the chronology of American history to examine the broad themes that have shaped women’s lives, as well as how women have impacted American society. Women’s history from the Civil War to the present are the focus of the class. While tracing larger trends and identifying common experiences, students pay close attention to the specific experiences of individual women in order to shed light on social, economic, and ethnic differences among them. Throughout the semester long class, students have the opportunity to examine a wide array of written and visual primary sources.

Ms. Lisa Heiert teaches this innovative class at NDA and says, “It is our chance to rewrite the canvas of American History. Women were not just people who sat on the sidelines of the past. They were there just as they are now, making a difference in our world.” Heiert says the luncheon was a culminating project for her students summing up the amazing impact women have had in American history.