Battle: Change From Within, Curriculum Viewing Guide — 4-H
This documentary is about educator Eliot Battle and the pivotal role he played in desegregating schools, housing and the Columbia community. As Battle facilitated changes with quiet resolve, he faced resistance from both the black and white communities. His calm demeanor and dedicated work within existing institutions and systems allowed him to bridge the gap between the two races and change Columbia for the better.
This study guide provides examples of what leaders may use in 4-H club or activity settings to enrich viewers’ experience of the documentary. Many of the questions are open-ended so as to stimulate broad and rich discussions that promote peace, understanding, justice, equality and community betterment.
- Life skills come as a result of your experiences. You carry them with you throughout your life. For example, as you work on a specific 4-H project, you might develop skills such as time management, problem solving or decision making. In groups of three, identify three life skills Dr. Battle developed that were important to his success. What life skills have you developed, and how have they contributed to your success?
- In 4-H you are encouraged to be generous with your time by participating in service projects to benefit the community. In what ways did Dr. Battle and his family show a sense of generosity?
- In 4-H we strive to make everyone feel welcomed and a part of everything that is 4-H. We call that a sense of belonging. Did the Battle family always have a positive sense of belonging? Support your answer with examples.
- We want every 4-H member to be able to influence people and events, to make decisions and to act upon those decisions. Also, it is important for 4-H members to be responsible and disciplined. What are some examples of how the Battle family achieved these goals?
- Segregation was a way to keep people of different races apart. Has the situation changed? Discuss.
- Did your community experience segregation in the 1950s and 1960s? Who in the community could you invite to a club meeting to discuss experiences of segregation?
- Do you think 4-H was segregated during this time? Why or why not?
- This DVD discussed one type of diversity — race. What are other types of diversity? What diversity exists in your community?
- Dr. Battle “gave back” to his community. How does it make you feel when you give back to others? Give some examples of when you gave back.
- Do you think everyone who is a part of 4-H feels like they belong? Why or why not?
- What can you, the club, council or committees do to help everyone feel like they belong?
- Divide the club into groups of four or five. Ask half of the groups to create a skit showing how the club encourages everyone to feel like they belong. Ask the other half to create a skit showing how the club makes people feel like outsiders. Discuss each skit when they are completed.
- Do you think they would have developed such a strong sense of independence had it not been for their caring adults?
- Over the years, Dr. Battle has helped many students feel capable. Think about some of the interviews in the DVD. What were some of the examples given?
- Dr. Battle talked about “change from within.” What do you think that means?
The 4-H Center for Youth Development is part of University of Missouri Extension. 4-H strives to help young people in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills, and forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directed, productive members of society. The 4-H motto is “Make the best better.”
- Julie Middleton, director of organizational development, University of Missouri Extension
- Barbara Williamson, associate teaching professor, Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri College of Education
- Mary Jo Williams, associate state specialist, 4-H Center for Youth Development, University of Missouri Extension
- Nick Kramer, Social Studies Department, Columbia Public Schools
- Eryca Neville, principal, Douglass High School, Columbia Public Schools
- Abbey Trescott, art teacher, Rock Bridge High School, Columbia Public Schools