Contracting is an essential teaching strategy for aligning a group of students around shared values and practices. Elizabeth Carroll, New England Program Director at Facing History, recently wrote a piece on this crucial topic for the Massachusetts Civic Learning Coalition—a non-partisan coalition of nonprofits, educators, think tanks, universities, and other partners committed to preparing all students to become more civically aware and involved. Below is an excerpt from her piece on the value of contracting—as well as re-contracting—in January each year:
Every October is National Bullying Prevention Month--an important time to call attention to the fact that bullying affects 20% of young people ages 12 to 18 across social groups. Research also reveals that most of this bullying takes place in school environments. Due to the pervasiveness of bullying and its lasting negative impacts on victims throughout their lifespans, preventing and disrupting bullying behavior ought to remain important areas of priority within middle and high schools.
Pamela E. Donaldson, Facing History's Associate Program Director for Equity and Inclusion, and Laura Tavares, Program Director for Organizational Learning and Thought Leadership, recently published an article on the School Library Journal website. There, they offer educators an invitation into equity work within their own school communities centered around personal introspection and self-education, as well as collaborative learning and reflection with fellow teacher colleagues. Below is an excerpt from the piece:
Topics: Equity in Education
In late July, Facing History was proud to present Identity, Membership, and Belonging: A Summit on Teaching Immigration. The three-day virtual summit welcomed hundreds of educators from around the United States and featured presentations from historian and #ImmigrationSyllabus creator Dr. Erika Lee as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas.
Laura Tavares, Facing History's Program Director for Organizational Learning and Thought Leadership, recently placed a piece on the School Library Journal website in which she interviews Dr. Kimberly Parker, cofounder of #DisruptTexts. #DisruptTexts is a "crowdsourced, grass roots effort by teachers for teachers to challenge the traditional canon in order to create a more inclusive, representative, and equitable language arts curriculum." In this interview, they discuss the impact of Dr. Parker's early experiences on her educational vision, how educators can expand upon the literary canon when selecting texts, and how educators can help their students see themselves as readers. Below is an excerpt from the piece:
As teachers prepare to head back to school this year, it is valuable to prepare for the level of trauma that individual teachers may be called upon to hold. The Trauma-Informed Care Implementation Resource Center indicates that trauma “results from exposure to an incident or series of events that are emotionally disturbing or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, and/or spiritual well-being.” From the economic strain and complex traumas induced by the COVID-19 pandemic to those resulting from racist violence, students and teachers are returning to the classroom with a heavy emotional load. With all that educators will be asked help students face, it is a great time to cultivate a strong foundation of social-emotional learning (SEL) and trauma-informed teaching methodology.
As acts of antisemitic violence have become more visible in the news in recent years in the United States, many non-Jewish people have begun to apprehend the extent of violence that continues to befall members of this community. Amid this awareness, we often hear less about the way that non-physical forms of violence—including words, symbols, and narratives that advance antisemitic hate—are equally insidious and have a particularly corrosive impact on young Jewish people’s experiences, self-concepts, and sense of possibility.
Facing History's Chief Officer of Equity and Inclusion Dr. Steven Becton and Kaitlin Smith recently placed an article in the School Library Journal newsletter about the historical contexts that shape educational inequity and what it takes to disrupt it.
Topics: Equity in Education
As the nation reacts to the wave of antisemitic attacks that have been occurring in cities across the country in recent weeks, educators have an opportunity to help students gain a deeper understanding of contemporary antisemitism. In these times, teachers can play a vital role in helping students and communities respond to acts of hate.
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.
Topics: Holocaust and Human Behaviour