Learning Through Heroes

Every kid loves heroes. They all want to be like them and do fantastic things. Taking this into consideration, educators have now chosen to include heroes into the curriculum and teach children various subjects through them. This could include anything from life skills, morals and even science.

Tony R. Sanchez who is an Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education at Purdue University says that using heroes and role models is an effective teaching tool. He points out that this is an excellent way to teach children by promoting the ‘hero’ spirit, which would then be instilled in children and hopefully encourage them to be ‘heroic’ themselves.

The Jemison Group, created by Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American in space is one that aspires to bring the latest technology to people worldwide and also to inculcate an understanding and appreciation of science amongst students. She has been invited by many schools around the country, at which she recounts her experiences about space travel. One particular example is after she visited West Clayton Elementary School, a considerable amount of students were more interested in the subject. Children need heroes to inspire them, get them interested in the vast possibilities they have in front of them.

More and more curriculums use heroes. However, these lessons must be thought out carefully. Here are a few pointers:

Find a hero specific to what you are teaching. You might want to use Michael Jordan for sports and not Oprah Winfrey. Try not to pick a hero that is too generic.

Keep the human side of the hero very much in focus. Keep stressing that they are all humans and not superheroes. Tell your students that anyone can be a hero, but you have to have your goals and stay focused. Help your students find their ‘hero’ potential.