Japanese researchers visit local elementary school

Jacksonville, Ore., — A local teacher is getting widespread attention for the special way she is teaching her elementary school students.

Jacksonville Elementary school teacher Anna Meunier has been teaching for a quarter of a century.

While her curriculum has long been appreciated in the Medford School District, today is the first time her classroom has been in the international spotlight.

Japanese researchers traveled halfway around the world to observe Anna Meunier teaching her 3rd and 4th graders.

“I feel very nervous and very honored that they would come all of this way to come and see what we are doing here in Southern Oregon” Meunier said.

Meunier successfully created her own social studies curriculum five years ago.

Now, Japanese educators are observing her methods for their classrooms.

Meunier focuses on giving her students a hands-on experience.

“It was a test but you think it’s just something fun to do because you’re just building it with all these different materials and recreating what you learned” Scofield said.

However, what makes her lesson plans stand out is her attention to empathy and helping students feel for different people in history.

“Learning about our ancestors and how they felt from time to time… and how the Indians felt with all that other stuff… us getting rid of them, and them getting rid of us.”

Meunier is leaving an impact on her students and their families too.

“One year after I had a family come through they actually went back and traveled the Oregon trail and came back again because they were just so inspired of all the things that they learned. Kids love doing social studies because we do social studies, we don’t read about social studies.”

Meunier received the 2013 Oregon History Teacher of the Year Award.

Her next project is a historical fiction series.


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