Kaitlin Smith

Kaitlin Smith is a Marketing and Communications Writer for Facing History and Ourselves.

Recent Posts

New Books on Genocide

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on April 10, 2020

During Genocide Awareness Month this April, we would like to draw educators' and parents' attention to Facing History’s rich array of teaching resources on genocide. But we also invite you to deepen your own learning with these 7 brand new titles written by scholars and memoirists grappling with the nature of genocide, its impacts on people around the world, and the acts of resistance and humanity that persist amid horrific circumstances. These books range in format from survivor testimony and multigenerational biography, to accounts of historical upstanders and scholarly analysis of how we represent and teach about genocide itself.

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Topics: Memory, Armenian Genocide, Holocaust, Upstanders, genocide

April is Genocide Awareness Month

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on April 8, 2020

In the midst of global catastrophe, it might seem counterintuitive to pause and acknowledge Genocide Awareness Month this April. But we cannot approach painful histories as ones to remember only when times are good. Further, this month is actually an opportunity to consider some of the tragedies that have unfolded—and may yet unfold—when people play upon fear, panic, hatred, and even apocalyptic thinking to marshal support for mass violence against particular populations. As we move through the month of April, stay tuned for these 5 new pieces of content related to the history and contemporary reality of genocide:

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Topics: genocide

Who Will Write Our History?: An Interview with Roberta Grossman

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on April 1, 2020

In a recent interview, I had the opportunity to speak with filmmaker Roberta Grossman—director of the acclaimed documentary film Who Will Write Our History? The film tells the remarkable true story of the Oyneg Shabes, a clandestine archival organization that formed in the Warsaw Ghetto to narrate the unfolding events from a Jewish perspective, as well as capture the richness of Jewish cultural life and agency that persisted in the face of the Nazi German occupation. The resulting archive includes a rich array of essays, diaries, drawings, posters, paintings, poetry, and underground newspapers. Here Grossman discusses the film’s development and reception, the power of eyewitness testimony, and the implications of the Oyneg Shabes Archive for how we teach and understand history.

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Topics: Memory, History, Holocaust and Human Behaviour

Serving All Girls in the Classroom: An Interview with Arianne Thomas

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 26, 2020

In a recent interview, I spoke with Arianne Thomas, Director of the Aspire Program at Hathaway Brown School—Ohio’s oldest continuously operating college preparatory school for girls. The program delivers three years of tuition-free academic enrichment and leadership development programming to girls from Cleveland and Greater Cleveland communities underrepresented at the elite day school. In this conversation, Thomas addresses some of the best practices that she and colleagues use within the Hathaway Brown community to center the developmental needs of girls, alongside the diverse array of needs and experiences that different learners bring to the classroom.

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Topics: Teaching, Women's History Month, race

Disrupting Patriarchy in the Classroom with Carol Gilligan

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 23, 2020

In a recent presentation to the staff of Facing History, eminent Facing History Board of Scholars member Carol Gilligan shared an array of insights from her body of work on gender. Gilligan is perhaps best known for her pathbreaking 1982 book In a Different Voice in which she exposed the limitations of prevailing conceptions of men’s and women’s psychological development. There she pointed to the unique needs and priorities of women that had not previously been addressed in the psychological literature. Gilligan’s presentation of her most recent work offers a number of rich insights on the continuing significance of gender, and has provoked reflection for us around how middle and high school educators might bring these insights into their work.

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Topics: Women's History Month

New Books on Women's History and Movements

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 11, 2020

Continue your own learning on women’s history with these five new books written by scholars and public intellectuals passionate about the experiences and contributions of women. Below, publishers provide a sense of what to expect from each title:

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Topics: Women's History Month

Teaching in the Light of Women's History

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 6, 2020

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 and women demanded justice. 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

A Look Ahead at Women's History Month 2020

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 3, 2020

Stay tuned for these 5 forthcoming posts around the connections between women’s history, women’s activism, and education this Women's History Month:

    1. Teaching in the Light of Women’s History

Some may assume that the legacies of women’s history are tangential to the work of teaching in middle and high schools today, but nothing could be further from the truth. Stay tuned for this essay which explores how women’s roles in the history of American K-12 education and the broader social status of women have had a significant impact on perceptions of the teaching profession, the compensation of educators, and the grounds for collective action that American teachers now enjoy. 

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Topics: Women's History Month

Complexities of Teaching Black History: An Educator Roundtable

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on February 28, 2020

In two recent interviews, I spoke with high school teacher Dexter Britt and Facing History Program Associate Rose Sadler about the challenges and opportunities inherent in teaching black history in the middle and high school setting. Speaking from black and white racial backgrounds, they discuss some of the complexities inherent in teaching black history and strategies that teachers can use to promote meaningful learning on the subject all year long.

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Topics: American History, black history

6 New Books on Black History

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on February 11, 2020

In addition to using Facing History’s teaching resources on black history, we invite you to deepen your own learning about black history with these 6 brand new titles released this month by scholars of black history and art. These books connect past to present in a number of contexts including #drivingwhileblack, mass incarceration, the racial politics of Chicago, and the way we remember and represent political icons including Julian Bond and the Obamas.

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Topics: American History, black history

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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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