Changing Lives and Honoring the Leaders Working for Justice

Posted by Aileen McQuillen on November 4, 2015

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.

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Topics: Students, New York, Teaching, Facing History and Ourselves, Teachers, Bryan Stevenson

Add Your Voice to The Adobe Bully Project Mural

Posted by Aileen McQuillen on October 28, 2015

October is Bullying Prevention Month in the U.S. Add your voice to The BULLY Project’s latest collective effort to raise awareness by sharing art and stories.

One of the hardest things about bullying, said filmmaker Lee Hirsch, is communicating about it. Lee, the founder of the The BULLY Project, which has sparked broad conversations about the bullying epidemic, has been working to build bullying prevention into a grassroots movement. His award-winning 2011 documentary, Bully, has the tagline: “When we come together, we can do anything.”

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Topics: Classrooms, Bullying and Ostracism, Students, Bullying, Lesson Plans, The BULLY Project

Cecil the Lion, the Darfur Puppy, and Our Universe of Obligation

Posted by Wayde Grinstead on August 13, 2015

The killing of Cecil the Lion on July 1st attracted both heavy news coverage and a flurry of responses on social media. An interesting thread emerged from these responses: questions about how people can become so outraged over the death of a lion on the other side of the world, when there are larger scale, or more local, stories of individuals and groups of people suffering unspeakable violence and injustice. The underlying theme that unites many of these confrontations is “Which story about tragedy or injustice is more worthy of our attention?”

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Topics: Classrooms, Teaching Strategies, Choosing to Participate, Students, Facing History Resources, Teaching, News, Universe of Obligation

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

Remembering Sir Nicholas Winton and Helping Students Think About Their Own Choices for Participation

Posted by Sarah Shields on July 8, 2015

Sir Nicholas Winton, a British humanitarian who saved more than 650 children through the Kindertransport during World War II, died on July 1, 2015, at the age of 106. Winton always humbly insisted he wasn't a hero; yet his inspiring story illuminates how courage, initiative, and compassion drive people to make a difference.

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Topics: Classrooms, Teaching Strategies, Antisemitism, Choosing to Participate, Students, Teaching, Holocaust, Upstanders, Genocide/Collective Violence, Teachers, Holocaust and Human Behavior, Decision-making, Holocaust Education

Resilience in the Face of Hatred

Posted by Steven Becton on June 19, 2015

It could have been me. In fact, it could have been any of us. By us, I mean the people all over this world who enter churches, synagogues, mosques, and other sacred places of worship to study, to pray, to listen, to sing, and sometimes even to mourn.

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Topics: Classrooms, Teaching Strategies, Choosing to Participate, Students, Teaching, News, Upstanders, Facing History and Ourselves, Teachers, Civil Rights, Critical Thinking, Community

Inspiring Student Voices Reflect on an Interfaith Exchange

Posted by Julia Rappaport on June 11, 2015

This week, Facing History's Learn + Teach + Share blog featured a series of blog posts from the students and teachers involved in an exchange between two Los Angeles middle schools: Sinai Akiba Academy, a Jewish day school, and New Horizon School, a Muslim day school. 

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Topics: Classrooms, Student Voices, Students, Religious Tolerance, Teachers, Los Angeles, Jewish Education Program

Three Tips to Inspire Students to Turn the Tide

Posted by Richard Weissbourd on April 21, 2015

Adults often ask students to be upstanders, to speak out against bullying and other social problems, and to go against the tide. But we should also help students change the tide.This means changing social norms so that young people feel respected not when they degrade other students, but when they include others.

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Topics: Bullying and Ostracism, Choosing to Participate, Students, Safe Schools, Teaching, Schools, Teaching Resources, Raising Ethical Children

Meet the Winners of Our First Annual Student & Alumni Upstander Contest!

Posted by Emma Samler on March 26, 2015

We at Facing History are so pleased to announce the winners of our first annual Facing History Together Student & Alumni Upstander Scholarship Contest.

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Topics: Contests, Student Voices, Benjamin B. Ferencz, Choosing to Participate, Students, Spoken Word, Toronto, San Francisco Bay Area, Facing History Together, Upstanders, Video

Five Facing History Resources That Use Poetry to Build Skills

Posted by Julia Rappaport on March 20, 2015

April is National Poetry Month in the United States. By writing, reading, and analyzing poetry, students can study important lessons from history and explore topics of religion, culture, community, and identity. Get ready with five resources that use poetry to build reading and writing skills and encourage student voice.
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Topics: Classrooms, Books, English Language Arts, Poetry, Writing, Students, Facing History Resources, Holocaust, Memoir, Teaching Resources, Survivor Testimony

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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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