HJ Cody High School teacher, Melissa McQueen has co-authored a book titled ‘Teaching Villainification in Social Studies”. She penned a chapter called ‘Wanda the Villain?: How WandaVision Can Aid Discussions About Enslavement and Anti Black Racism.’
“When I chose to become a teacher I didn't think about becoming published,” said Melissa McQueen. “I have been a teacher for only five years, and recognize I have a lot to learn yet, so it’s a weird feeling to think that what I am doing has been published in a book.”
The project came about after McQueen noticed that her students were responding to accessible connections to the social studies curriculum.
“For instance, when we study liberalism and how governments have subverted freedoms, it was hard for students to want to engage with that topic during the pandemic. They were experiencing limits on their personal freedoms at that time, so the discussions in social studies about that were uncomfortable for some,” said McQueen.
“I could see it helped students to talk about difficult topics,” she said. “The characters were familiar and comfortable, and it was easier for students to want to connect with the curriculum,” she added.
The book has the goal of helping teachers work with students and see the nuances of the world around them.
"We are impressed that Melissa has written this chapter. It speaks of her commitment to deeply understanding Social Studies, and passing on her love for the topic to her students,” added Alex Lambert, Principal of HJ Cody High School.