What does Facing History look like in action? Look into Calee Prindle’s classroom and you’ll see it come to life. Calee is an English Language Arts teacher and an advisor at the Facing History School (FHS) in New York City. FHS is a founding member of The Facing History Innovative Schools Network – a connected group of more than 80 schools that embrace Facing History's core themes as essential to their mission.
What do Facing History and Ourselves classrooms really accomplish? Where do our students go after graduation? And how does our approach actually change their lives? We find one answer in the story of a Dominican teenager who immigrated to New York City less than a decade ago. Luis Santos—like so many youth today—fled violent rioting in the streets of the Dominican Republic after it took the life of one of his best friends. Santos found himself attending the Facing History School in Hell's Kitchen, NYC.
“In conversation, we were all able to see and understand circumstances beyond our own..."
In 2011, when I was 13 years old, my family and I traveled to South Africa. My dad was born and raised in Cape Town. In 1976, the Soweto Uprising and corrupt Apartheid government prompted his parents to move their family to Toronto, Canada. During our trip, I spent time in Khayelitsha, Langa, and Gugulethu, black townships near Cape Town, with children close to my age who shared many of my interests. I was struck by their harsh living conditions and bleak educational futures relative to my own. The connections I made inspired my desire to make a positive difference. But, at the time, I was in middle school and I had no clue how.
In the 21st century, it is almost as likely that a student will play a video game as watch television or read a book.
Indeed, the Pew Research Center estimates that 97% of teenagers (as well as 60% of adults, according to the Entertainment Software Association) regularly play video games. These numbers indicate that modern video games have huge potential for helping young people better understand their world, and can increase their empathy for those around them.
I remember sitting on my parents' bed one evening after dinner when I was seven years old, squeezing into a spot next to my older brother, Marc. In the coziness and safety of their room—walls clad in purple fabric and a white shag rug underfoot—my parents began to share their stories.
Forty-one years ago this month, a violent military coup in Chile led by Army Commander-in-Chief Augusto Pinochet overthrew Salvador Allende's democratically-elected government.
Topics: Classrooms, Art, English Language Arts, Teaching Strategies, Democracy, Memory, Choosing to Participate, Human Rights, Facing History Resources, New York, Teaching, Identity, Holocaust, Genocide/Collective Violence, Teaching Resources, History
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.