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

Bringing Art into Holocaust Instruction

Posted by Brandon Barr on June 16, 2015

As a teacher, I am constantly thinking of new ways to engage my students.

Before I started teaching my students a unit about the Holocaust this year, I thought a lot about how I could get them to think, process, and reflect meaningfully and critically about this history, and also inspire them to act in a manner that influences the world for good.

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Topics: Art, Books, Choosing to Participate, Facing History Resources, Teaching, Holocaust, Teaching Resources, Survivor Testimony, History, Facing Technology, Chicago

Why Stories of Rescue Matter

Posted by Fran Sterling on June 2, 2015

Acts of moral courage are not common, they are exceptional. People actively create opportunities to rescue or choose to help others. It can happen in a blink of an eye or after long deliberation, but these moments are not accidental.

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Topics: Rescue, Facing History Resources, Teaching, Genocide/Collective Violence, Teaching Resources, History

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

14 Teachers Making a Difference Today

Posted by Julia Rappaport on May 12, 2015

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.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Safe Schools, Teaching, Teachers, Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grants

Responding to a Community in Crisis

Posted by Karen Murphy on May 6, 2015

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. 

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Human Rights, Immigration, Safe Schools, Teaching, Schools, Video, South Africa, Margot Stern Strom Innovation Grants

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

Six Resources that Honor Jewish Voices on Yom HaShoah

Posted by Emily Weisberg on April 9, 2015

Next week marks Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. While Yom HaShoah affords us the opportunity to honor the memory of those we lost during the Holocaust, it's also a time to commemorate and celebrate the vibrancy and diversity of the lives and communities decimated during this dark moment in history.

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Topics: Classrooms, Art, Books, Online Tools, Benjamin B. Ferencz, Memory, Choosing to Participate, Facing History Resources, Teaching, Holocaust, Upstanders, Teaching Resources, Survivor Testimony, Video, History

How Can History of Lynching Help Us Understand Issues of Race and Justice in “To Kill a Mockingbird”?

Posted by Julia Rappaport on April 2, 2015

In a blog post up now on the New York Times Learning Network, Facing History and Ourselves Senior Program Associate Laura Tavares pairs an article about the recent report documenting the history of racial lynching in America with an excerpt of To Kill a Mockingbird

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Professional Development, Facing History Resources, Teaching, Race and Membership, Teaching Resources, History

At Facing History and Ourselves, we value conversation—in classrooms, in our professional development for educators, and online. When you comment on Facing Today, you're engaging with our worldwide community of learners, so please take care that your contributions are constructive, civil, and advance the conversation.

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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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