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

What I Got Wrong When I Taught Reconstruction

Posted by Marty Sleeper on May 14, 2015

About two years ago, when I began reading draft chapters of Facing History’s new publication on the Reconstruction era in American history, I got to thinking back to how I learned about this period in high school in 1959 and in college, and also how I taught it to my students while teaching high school several years later in 1965.

In both my high school class as student, and later my high school classes as a teacher, I used the same textbook, David Saville Muzzey’s 1937 A History of Our Country, which for decades was the most widely used high school text on American history. Curious about what I learned and how I taught it, I dug out my well-worn copy and looked at how Muzzey wrote about Reconstruction.

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Topics: Classrooms, Books, Teaching Strategies, Democracy, Reconstruction, Facing History Resources, Teaching, Teaching Resources, History, American History, Civil War

Getting Poetic in Social Studies

Posted by Tracy Sockalosky on April 14, 2015

Poetry is one of my favorite mediums for teaching social studies.

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Topics: Classrooms, Civil Rights Movement, Teaching Strategies, Poetry, Teaching Resources, Survivor Testimony, Video, History

Four Resources for Women's History Month

Posted by Julia Rappaport on March 4, 2015

March is Women's History Month in the United States and United Kingdom—Canada celebrates in October—while International Women's Day is celebrated globally on March 8. Introduce your students to everyday women, female politicians, and upstanders big and small who have made contributions to world history with these four resources.

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Topics: Classrooms, Civil Rights Movement, Professional Development, Teaching Strategies, Facing History Resources, Holocaust, Memoir, Teaching Resources, Video, History

Four Classroom Resources to Use for Presidents’ Day

Posted by Julia Rappaport on February 10, 2015

In the United States, Presidents’ Day is celebrated Monday. The national holiday offers an opportunity for valuable discussion in the classroom about the importance—and the fragility—of democracy now and throughout history. Here are four Facing History and Ourselves resources that can help you plan an exciting lesson.

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Topics: Professional Development, Teaching Strategies, Democracy, Voting Rights, Choosing to Participate, Facing History Resources, Religious Tolerance, Teaching, Teaching Resources, History

After Eric Garner: One School’s Courageous Conversation

Posted by Steven Becton on December 10, 2014

As I prepared to write this post, I had to confront the most difficult, yet most important, person that I would be in conversation with: myself.

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Topics: Classrooms, Teaching Strategies, Democracy, Students, Human Rights, Safe Schools, Teaching, Schools, News, Identity, Teaching Resources, Teachers

Creating Safe Classrooms: Resources for UK National Anti-Bullying Week

Posted by Julia Rappaport on October 27, 2014

National Anti-Bullying Week takes place in the United Kingdom 17th to 21st of November. This year's theme is "let's stop bullying for all."

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Topics: Classrooms, United Kingdom, Webinar, Online Tools, Professional Development, Film, Teaching Strategies, Bullying and Ostracism, Choosing to Participate, Human Behavior, Human Rights, Facing History Resources, Safe Schools, Teaching, Schools, Identity, Facing History and Ourselves, 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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