6 Tools for Teaching About Genocide

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on April 13, 2021

Teaching about genocide is challenging for a number of reasons. Each instance of genocide is unique to the historical, cultural, and political contexts in which it emerges, demanding sustained intellectual engagement. Simultaneously, however, educators teaching about genocide are also called to engage themselves—and their students—in a level of emotional engagement and ethical reflection not required by most other topics of instruction. Below are 6 virtual tours, exhibitions, and professional development opportunities that educators can use to navigate these challenges with greater support:

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Topics: Armenian Genocide, genocide, Holocaust and Human Behaviour

Reflections on Yom HaShoah

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on April 7, 2021

Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, is observed every April around the world. On this day, we remember the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, and the Jewish resistance that accompanied and followed these events. Today, we sit with the pain, suffering, and multigenerational trauma sustained by the six million victims and their families.

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Topics: Holocaust and Human Behaviour

Combating the Erasure of API Experiences and Anti-API Violence

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on April 2, 2021

On Monday, March 29th, a Filipino woman was brutally attacked in New York City while bystanders, including security guards, looked on without intervening. On Tuesday, March 16th, six Asian Pacific Islander (API) women lost their lives in three consecutive shootings in the Atlanta area. Weeks earlier around Lunar New Year, a wave of xenophobic violence swept the San Francisco Bay Area, metro New York and other US cities where numerous API people were attacked and some lost their life. 

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Topics: Racism, Asian American and Pacific Islander History

New Books on Genocide, Resistance, and Resilience

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on April 1, 2021

Genocide Awareness Month every April is an important time to draw our attention to the victims of genocides that are ongoing in the contemporary world, that may yet happen, and that have already taken place, leaving an indelible mark on individuals, communities, and nations. However, Genocide Awareness Month is also an opportunity to recover and amplify the stories of people who, despite being targeted by perpetrators, have refused to be victims and resisted against all odds.

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Topics: Armenian Genocide, Holocaust, genocide, china, Native Americans

Educating for American Democracy

Posted by Laura Tavares on March 31, 2021

In the United States, the notion that public schools should prepare young people for the rights and responsibilities of democratic life is both a platitude and a political lightning rod. Most Americans broadly support the idea of civic education. In a 2020 poll of more than 1000 Americans about prospects for healing national divides, both conservatives and liberals identified civic education as the single most promising solution among a range of possible options. This consensus tends to fall apart, however, when it comes to the specific goals, content and methods of civics instruction, and many efforts to improve civic education are beset by partisan controversy. These challenges are compounded by systematic under-investment: at the federal level, we spend just $0.05 per student per year on civic education, compared to $50 per student on STEM. 

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Topics: Democracy, Webinars

6 Virtual Exhibitions on Women Artists

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 26, 2021

2021 has already been a history-making year for women in civic life with the inauguration of the first woman Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris. Along with the continuing importance of women’s political engagement, there are many additional ways that women contribute to society, challenge the status quo, and help to restore humanity and dignity to those denied it. One of these is the domain of art. We have witnessed an upsurge of artmaking inflected with social and political themes explode onto the public stage over the last year, art connected to the Black Lives Matter movement being one prominent example. This Women’s History Month, we have an opportunity to delve into the work and worlds of women artists, in particular. Founded in 1981, The National Museum of Women in the Arts describes itself as the “only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts,” and has curated a plethora of learning opportunities for those eager to explore women’s artmaking.

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Topics: Art, Women's History Month

Teaching in the Light of Women's History

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 22, 2021

This essay was originally published in March 2020 and has been updated in March 2021.

Though we often think of Women’s History Month as a time to prioritize women’s voices and contributions in the classroom, this month is also a time to examine the profound ways in which women teachers, and broader perceptions of women, have shaped the teaching profession itself. From contemporary perceptions of the profession and the compensation of its workers, to the grounds for collective action that American teachers now enjoy, none can be understood outside the patriarchal context in which modern schooling emerged. Examining this history offers not only a richer understanding of the challenges faced by today’s teachers, but reveals places where we must continue to disrupt patriarchal rhetoric if we are to cultivate school communities that do right by teachers and students. 

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Topics: Women's History Month

9 Films on Women's History + History in the Making

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 16, 2021

Women’s History Month is a great time for educators to consider how to incorporate women’s stories, contributions, and ideas into their classroom teaching all year. One way to access inspiration for that work is to watch films on women’s history whether with the intention of bringing them into the classroom or translating some of the themes presented into an original lesson. 

Here are 9 films worth thinking with that illustrate critical stories from American women’s history as well as women’s-history-in-the-making around the world:

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Topics: Women's History Month

Making Space for Women's History

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 12, 2021

The value and relevance of women’s history was in the news in late December 2020 when we learned that a new bill passed, approving the development of what will be the first women’s history museum on the National Mall. The long process that led to this approval, including considerable controversy surrounding the penultimate bill, raises compelling questions about how women’s history is valued and understood, as well as the significance of spaces like museums and monuments in shaping public memory.

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Topics: Women's History Month

6 Virtual Exhibitions and Teacher Resources for Women's History Month

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 10, 2021

Women’s History Month each year is a fabulous time for teachers to recommit to integrating the experiences of women and girls into instruction on history and contemporary society all year.

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Topics: Women's History Month

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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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