e d g e - education for disability and gender equity



1 Overview
2 Common Threads
3 EDGE Website
4 Using the Guide
5 Lessons
  5.1 Physics
  5.2 Biology
  5.3 Government
  5.4 Culture
6 Other Resources


The EDGE Teacher's Guide on the Web is an enhanced version of the print guide. Each module consists of four parts: Lesson, Activity, Self-Test, and Resources.

Each lesson addresses two or more curriculum points related to the subject. For example, the Physics lesson covers work, energy, momentum, and center of gravity.

The related Activity section offers at least two different activities that allow students to put the lesson into practice. In the Biology activity, students need to find the genetic pattern of inherited deafness.

The Self-Test allows students to review their newfound knowledge. Using a short, multiple-choice format, students answer a question and get immediate feedback. The Self-Test covers the material presented in both the Lesson and Activity.

The Resource section provides web-based information. Organized into People Resources and Information Resources, it allows students to pursue further learning and significantly expands the breadth of information available.

The EDGE Web site includes a wealth of primary sources, biographies, curriculum links and excerpts from people with disabilities. In addition to the resources for both teachers and students, which are included for each unit, you may find the Resources in each lesson module helpful as well as the Other Helpful Resources section at the end of the Teacher's Guide.

The following themes are central to the EDGE website. Each module presents different aspects of these themes within the context of the particular curriculum focus. You may want to explore aspects of these questions as you use the modules in the classroom.

  • Everyone Belongs: How do our concepts of society change if we presume that everyone belongs as a valued member?
  • Access: Why is equality of access important for people with disabilities?
  • Difference: How are people different and the same as each other? How do stereotyped assumptions about differences impact people? How can society value people and their differences?
  • Leadership and Resistance: How do people with disabilities resist negative connotations of disability?
  • Identity: How do people with disabilities see themselves? How is this different than prevailing cultural norms about people with disabilities?
  • Citizenship: What groups of people have full citizenship and who needs to fight for equal rights?

As a general activity before working with the EDGE modules, you may want to survey students' knowledge of disability. Ask, What do you know about people with disabilities? Who are famous people with disabilities? What are the cultural values assigned to people with disabilities? Do these change based on the disabled person's gender or race? As students work with the EDGE modules, have them write down new information or facts that support or contradict their answers. Afterward, discuss how students' knowledge or understanding has changed.

As students gain new perspectives from the EDGE site, you may want to explore the issue of how and why disability has been interpreted -- and often distorted -- over the years. Have students choose a topic from the site and locate information about it from the following sources: a passage in their textbook, a chapter or section in a book by an academic, a selection from a Web site, and a primary source. Add information students may know from novels, movies, television, etc.

Compare and contrast the sources. How are they different? How are they the same? Ask students to analyze how and why various sources present different perspectives. Whose story gets told and why? How does understanding our past influence our ideas and thoughts today?

If is likely that any given high school class will have students with disabilities in it. You should try to ensure that specific students with disabilities are not expected to teach the rest of the class or expected to be open to personal questions about their lives and disabilities. However, it is rare that a student with a disability sees himself or herself in the work being studied so this is a wonderful opportunity to help a student with a disability connect to a larger community. You might also point out the access features of the course- text only, tags on images and the way that glossaries are used to help with vocabulary. Many of the issues around disability (and gender) are already a natural part of the classroom and the EDGE website is an opportunity to integrate these.

Next - Part 5.1 - Physics Lesson

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