8 Components of a Reflective Classroom

Posted by Doc Miller on August 5, 2015

The philosopher Hannah Arendt said that the essence of being human is participating in moral discourse with others. "The things of the world become human for us only when we can discuss them with our fellows. We humanize what is going on in the world and in ourselves only by speaking of it, and in the course of speaking of it we learn to be human." In a reflective classroom community, students work together in an engaging study of our past, and of our world today. Knowledge is constructed, not passively absorbed. And students, with both hearts and minds mobilized, are seen as subjects actively engaged in a community of learners. A trusting classroom atmosphere like this creates the space for deep, democratic learning. The creation of an environment like this requires a thoughtful approach. 

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Topics: Classrooms, Back-To-School, Teaching Strategies, Student Voices, Students, Schools, Teachers, Community

Choosing to Participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge

Posted by Daniel Braunfeld on September 12, 2014

As any Facing History teacher will tell you, many of our lessons begin with stories of identity. To introduce identity, and to start thinking about the various aspects that make up our own identities, we often use an Identity Chart teaching strategy.

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Topics: Back-To-School, Student Voices, Choosing to Participate, Teaching, Identity, Facing History Together, Race and Membership

The Challenges and Opportunities of Teaching 9/11

Posted by Jennifer Suri on September 8, 2014

I have been a teacher and assistant principal at Stuyvesant High School for 14 years.


Our school is located in lower Manhattan, just a few blocks north of the World Trade Center. We are one of New York City’s specialized high schools and draw students from all five boroughs. We have over 3,000 students in our 10-story building.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, my express bus dropped me at the Center's North Tower and I walked up a few blocks to school. I settled in for a busy day in the first week of classes.

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Topics: Classrooms, September 11, Back-To-School, Memorials, Teaching Strategies, Memory, Choosing to Participate, New York, Teaching, Teaching Resources, History

Support Facing History When You Shop on Amazon!

Posted by Julia Rappaport on August 22, 2014

If you already shop on Amazon—or if you’re stocking up on school supplies, buying new reads, or looking for the perfect gift—we invite you to support Facing History and Ourselves by shopping through AmazonSmile.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3

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Topics: Back-To-School, Books

Back to School: Teachers Share Their Tips to Get Ready for the New Year

Posted by Julia Rappaport on August 11, 2014

Who says that going back to school can’t be a blast? Check out how Facing History and Ourselves educators from around the globe bring a bit of fun into the first few days of class.

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Topics: Back-To-School, Teaching Strategies, Student Voices, Teaching, Identity, Teaching Resources

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Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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