Creating Agents of Positive Change
By Susan Sittenauer, 2014 Lowell Milken Center Fellow
When reflecting upon the past two years of working with Hailey and Andie on our Unsung Hero project, several thoughts come to mind. First, I realize how the lives of my two students have been changed forever. As a result of the creation of their project about Harry Hue, they became less egocentric and became agents of positive change. Their focus shifted from themselves and their insular world of high school to a much bigger world. A world where wars are fought and people die. A world where an Unsung Hero named Harry demonstrated honorable values and whose heroic and selfless actions saved numerous lives.
In addition, I wholeheartedly believe that project-based education has an empowering effect. My students have grown in a multitude of ways. Intensive research is second nature to them. They are able to recognize bias in sources and differentiate between primary and secondary sources. Their ability to problem-solve, work cooperatively, and analyze information increased exponentially. They became “experts” on a topic. Furthermore, my students are able to take a vast amount of sources and create a quality project that others can view and learn from.
Finally, what a privilege it has been to be able to bring Harry’s story to the rest of the world. The connections that Hailey, Andie, and myself made these past two years are invaluable. Discovering an Unsung Hero and creating a project has been truly life changing.