Daughter of Earth: Reading, Writing, and Social Class

Teaching Activity PDF. By Bill Bigelow. 7 pages.

  • Time Periods: Turn of the Century: 1900 - 1909, 20th Century | Themes: Education, Social Class, Women's History | Reading Levels: High School | Resource Types: Teaching Activity PDFs

daughterofearthIn school, learning is not a one-way street from teachers to students. In the potent informal or hidden curriculum, students constantly teach and mis-teach each other about the world and their place in it. As “Marie” experiences in this excerpt from Agnes Smedley’s 1929 autobiographical novel, Daughter of Earth, the social mixing that occurs in school may be contradictory. Marie comes to experience academic competence, even superiority. But other experiences offer constant reminders of her lowly position in the social hierarchy. Thus, schools are often sites that simultaneously challenge and reinforce social class distinctions. This excerpt puts a human face on these dynamics. It can also be a point of departure for students to explore how these themes play out in their own lives.

This lesson was published by Rethinking Schools.

 

 

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