We often think of empathy as a virtue—it’s sometimes used synonymously with terms like “compassion” and “understanding.” But empathy is more complicated than that. Sometimes there’s that feel-good, tender variety that helps us connect deeply with and nurture others. Then there’s also the I feel exactly what you are feeling variety that weighs us down with feelings of unsolvable pain.
Part of challenging our students is challenging ourselves as educators. That’s why Facing History is excited to announce the 2017 Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grants. This year, we’re challenging you to think about how you can bring “hard empathy” into the classroom. You could be one of 12 educators to receive $2,500 to bring your project to life.
Make sure to sign up for Face the Future and stay tuned to hear the themes for the 2017 MSS Innovation Awards! In the meantime, take a look back at three previous award winners for inspiration!
Facing History and Ourselves celebrates upstanders of all kinds: those who stand up to injustice, those who seek to make positive change in the world, and those who spread messages of tolerance, empathy, and knowledge. During Women’s History Month, we are cheering on young women who are doing just that.
Here are three inspiring stories of young women who we have no doubt will be history-makers of the future. How do we know? Read about how they are already upstanders in their communities.
Facing History is pleased to introduce the 2015 winners of our annual Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grants! The winning projects all focus on collaborative learning, and were selected for their potential to inspire students to make a difference.
Over the last few weeks, South Africa has been rocked by xenophobic violence.
According to The New York Times, approximately five million immigrants have settled in South Africa since the end of the apartheid in 1994. Many are refugees, or are pursuing economic opportunities in the country, which has become a relatively stable multiracial democracy. Many native South Africans are greeting these newcomers with prejudice, hatred, and violence—destroying local businesses and in some cases committing murder. Today, South Africa’s immigrant population lives in fear.
Unfortunately, the trend is not new. In 2007, a year before xenophobic attacks would break out nationwide, violence erupted in the small township of Zwelethemba, about two hours from Cape Town.
A Facing History teacher at the local high school recognized that his community was in crisis.
In March, the Beacon Academy Class of 2014 took a trip to Washington, D.C. with the Close Up Foundation. Over the course of four days, 19 students from the class of 2014 had the opportunity to explore the most important sights in the city – places that gave us the chance to think, reflect, and learn about the United States’ democratic ideals and historical realities.
I begin each year of my teaching with one hope: to inspire my students with history. I want to help our students become the keepers of history in our community. I want them to not only learn the history, but to live it and work in it. Educators – and schools, communities, and parents –do many things to help our students become active learners of history. Among the things I’m trying this year is building a mini-museum inside my Grade 11 Genocide classroom at Waterdown District High School in Hamilton, Ontario.
As a teacher at an all-girls school, I cannot tell you how many times I've heard the word "drama" tossed around. It's troubling to me, really, to see how easily people connect this word to the conflicts that emerge between girls and women. Even in efforts to help girls and women build strong and healthy relationships, we’re reminded to "stop the drama!" or "just say no to the drama!"
Beacon Academy’s class of 2014 is off to an extraordinary start. The students come from incredibly diverse backgrounds, yet they have quickly developed a remarkable bond. It is obvious that they are joined together by their shared desire for the best education possible.