Two years ago, the Anderson School in New York City partnered with Facing History and Ourselves to bring the Holocaust and Human Behavior curriculum into our eighth grade Social Studies and English Language Arts classes. This period of history is so widely studied but often the dark nature of it is hard for young students to grasp. That’s why we were excited to bring an interdisciplinary approach to our students’ learning that not only taught them the basics of the history but also engaged them on a deeper level of reflection on issues in their own lives.
At Facing History, we love finding connections to our work everywhere, even in Star Wars. It turns out we aren’t the only one! Author Cass R. Sunstein shares an excerpt from his newly released book, The World According to Star Wars.
Bringing current events into the classroom creates some very interesting challenges for teachers. The classroom is a community of diverse people with diverse stories, experiences, and points of view. The teacher is not just an instructor but also a member of the community with their own stories, experiences, and points of view. How do educators navigate their own personal feelings while creating safe space for students to share? How do educators walk the fine line between teaching and telling, between educating and indoctrinating? These are important questions educators must grapple with when charged with creating social and emotional safe spaces for discussing current events.
Recent events in Baton Rouge, suburban Minneapolis, and Dallas have shown that it has never been more important for all of us to understand viewpoints that differ from our own. Official online sources can be powerful tools for developing students' perspectives, according to Nelson Graves, journalist and founder of News-Decoder.
On July 2, Elie Wiesel - Holocaust survivor, Nobel Laureate, writer, political activist, and professor - passed away at 87 years old. He committed his life to keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive because he understood the dangers of history repeating itself. Now, in honor of his memory, we share a story of a second-generation Holocaust survivor who is passing on her mother's legacy one hug at a time.
Caren Osten hugs one of the students at Ellis Prep Academy in the Bronx.
Talking about race can be challenging and uncomfortable. Yet, recognizing the impact of race on the way we see ourselves and others can help us better understand how we see the world and, in turn, the choices that we make. The challenge, for many of us, is that we don’t know where to begin.
As a teacher, I talk to my students about expectations a lot. My expectations for them and their expectations for themselves. I tell them it is my professional responsibility and mission to raise their expectations. I want them to think deeper and more creatively. I want them to understand and not memorize. I want them to realize the human impact of history and their role in our collective tomorrow.
In the aftermath of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, we are having difficult conversations all over the world. About race. About identity. About the meaning of democracy and where we go from here. Tanya Huelett shares what she learned from leading difficult conversations as a program associate at Facing History and Ourselves. These guiding principles can help us both in and out of the classroom as we all try to navigate this latest tragedy.
Difficult conversations are a big part of my life. For almost eight years I’ve helped educators learn and teach about atrocities and injustices in the past and present. I should have felt prepared when asked to facilitate a webinar on "navigating difficult conversations" for classrooms in Baltimore City Public Schools. Instead I felt overwhelmed and hesitant.
Michael is a Senior Programme Coordinator for Facing History and Ourselves in London, UK.
A white rose was today placed on a vacant seat in the House of Commons. Members of Parliament (MPs) had returned to pay tribute to Jo Cox, murdered last Thursday in her constituency of Batley and Spen, West Yorkshire. The white rose, a symbol of Yorkshire, was soon joined by a red rose, a symbol of the Labour Party she represented.
This week marks the 150th anniversary of the 14th Amendment in the United States, which was born out of struggles to rebuild the country following the Civil War. While approximately 4 million formerly enslaved black people were freed, the battle to define that freedom had just begun. It would last from 1865-1877 and is known as the Reconstruction Era. This period was described as a “splendid failure” by scholar and activist, W.E.B. Du Bois, yet important progress was made toward equal rights.