Unladylike: Resources for Teaching Women’s History from PBS Learning Media


Dr. David J. Childs, D.D., Ph.D.
Northern Kentucky University

Social studies and languages arts classrooms are wonderful spaces to introduce topics centered on diversity and inclusion. It is good to start teaching concepts of diversity and equity at an early age, as it will help students be more open minded towards those different than themselves. Educators often need resources to help them implement a more multicultural curriculum into their classrooms. In honor of women’s history month, PBS Learning Media has developed a collection of resources entitled “UnladyLike.”

Daisy Bates (Civil Rights Activist) with six members of the Little Rock Nine.
Courtesy of Independent Television Service.

PBS Website Description
There are a number of wonderful resources available on the site. It presents a diversity of women from various walks of life. Depending how the site is used, elementary, middle grades and secondary elementary teachers can implement these resources into their curriculum. The description on the PBS website states: 

“These digital resources present the rich history of 26 little-known Progressive Era women, diverse in profession, race, ethnicity, geographical and class backgrounds, sexual orientation and gender expression, who broke barriers in then-male-dominated fields such as science, business, journalism, exploration, and the arts. Touching on topics such as the labor movement, immigration, politics, civil rights, and women’s suffrage, these resources develop students’ historical thinking skills and help them make connections between past and present. Unladylike2020 is a timeless resource that was created to honor the centennial of women’s suffrage in August 2020. Recordings of the Unladylike2020 Webinar Series Elevating the Hidden History of American Women are now available…” on the website as well. 

There is a growing effort to limit the exposure of students to a more diverse curriculum. It is ever more important that our students be exposed to conversations surrounding social justice. In this same way, parents that homeschool their children can also use these as teaching resources, even if schools limit what students can be exposed to.   


  1. Reading through this article opened my eyes up to realize what we could do more of and that includes our educators putting more women’s history into more lessons. The article made it clear that the importance of making equality and diversity known at such a young age is key. What truly stood out to me in the article is when it stated “Touching on topics such as the labor movement, immigration, politics, civil rights, and women’s suffrage, these resources develop students’ historical thinking skills and help them make connections between past and present.”It’s completely true, we need to help develop students’ historical and critical thinking to help them achieve more knowledge down the road.

  2. Powerful insight of how we as educators must incorporate womens’ history into lessons. As the article states, presenting equality and diversity at a young age is key. This quote from the article stood out, ” It is ever more important that our students be exposed to conversations surrounding social justice.” Using the guidance of resources to incorporate diversity and inclusion will get conversations started. We must first acknowledge the topic needs to be discussed. Teaching and guiding children at a young age will make them more comfortable to have intellectual conversations later on in life.

  3. Chock full of wonderful art, information, and unheard stories, this article highlights women who may otherwise not see the light in our history classrooms! There are various sections on this site that highlight women in the fields of athletics, the arts, journalism, and more. There is an option for every student, no matter how they identify, with a focus on at least one of their interests! This is a personal connection to the work they are reading, and a deeper level of meaning to the information they are receiving. I am saving this one for later!

  4. Growing up, I always felt like there weren’t enough prominent women in history that I learned about. I ended up latching onto the ones I did hear about such as Sacagawea and Amelia Earheart. With this in mind, I think more teaching needs to be done about prominent women in history. Why was it that when it came to learning about the history of things like science or business was it always a man who was the center of it all? There had to be a woman somewhere who did great things for history. I like this article because it shows that it’s important that we expose students to famous people who were just like them. It shows them that no matter their background they can achieve great things. Representation always matters.

  5. I enjoyed reading this article and I thought that these videos were excellent resources for incorporating inclusive curriculum and underrepresented voices into the classroom. Videos like this are an interesting way to engage students in lesser-known historical figures, allowing them to use technology to research people they personally find interesting outside of the normal content. The discussion questions are also a great addition for expanding the content of the video into a deeper class discussion. I also enjoyed how the videos show women today carrying on the same work, as the historical figures that came before them in those fields. I feel that component allows students to connect the struggles of these historical women to our country’s current issues and allows students to see how ordinary people can go onto make an impact in the world of social justice.

  6. I really enjoyed this article! I feel that there needs to be more recognition towards social justice and the inclusion of women in our history. By providing great resources for students to be exposed to, they are able to learn about the importance of women’s strength and how they fought for their rights and respect. By going into “male fields” such science, business, and journalism, they were able to break gender roles to their freedom. It is essential to include children in this history in order to be informed about how the past has affected our present. Overall, it is such a powerful topic that needs to be talked about more and would be perfect to be included into the classroom!

  7. I really enjoyed reading this article, I think it has a lot of good information and high-quality resources. I loved how in the beginning of the article it talks about the importance of introducing equity and diversity to children at a young age, so they can be more open minded towards those different than themselves. I believe that this is extremely important, and we should focus on building upon children’s curiosity- and to teach them to be understanding & respectful towards others different than themselves rather than instilling judgement/hate like societal structures and institutions often do.

  8. I really enjoyed this article and all of its resources. I think it could be very beneficial in the classroom. I like the article touches on the fact that it is really important to teach diversity in the classroom, but people are trying to limit teacher’s voices, and that’s why its more important than ever.

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