6 Essays on Women's History

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 8, 2021

Women’s History Month each year provides teachers a chance to take a deeper dive into the histories and experiences of women around the globe in work with their students.

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Topics: Women's History Month

5 New Books on Women's History

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 5, 2021

Women’s History Month is here again and there are abundant opportunities for educators to engage it in the classroom. But there is also an opportunity to deepen our own understanding of women’s history and contemporary experiences. Check out these 5 new books that can enrich educators’ understanding of and engagement with the power of women’s history.

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Topics: Women's History Month

9 Resources for Women's History Month

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on March 3, 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

Making Black Lives Matter: A Retrospective

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on February 26, 2021

It was on this day nine years ago that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. After spending the evening relaxing and playing video games with his brothers, Martin ventured out to a convenient store to purchase some snacks. He would not make it home after Zimmerman deemed him a suspicious presence and proceeded to shoot him dead, later claiming self-defense. The fact that we live in a society in which the worth and humanity of a young Black man is so quickly eclipsed and negated by his dark skin is a source of Black suffering that is difficult to soothe. When the jury refused to convict Zimmerman for killing Martin, outrage followed and would catalyze the development of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in 2013. In the years that have elapsed since then, a growing number of people and organizations have become affiliated with the movement as Black people continue to be killed by law enforcement and vigilantes at disproportionate rates. As the movement expands, complex questions have emerged about what it means to assert that “Black Lives Matter” and to stand behind that claim in meaningful ways within our own spheres of influence.

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Topics: black history

Teaching Black History All Year: Educators Speak

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on February 24, 2021

As February and Black History Month draw to a close, educators’ opportunities to teach Black history will continue throughout the year. Below, a multiracial group of Facing History teachers from around the U.S. share their thoughts on Black History Month, weigh in on how they approach teaching Black history, and share some of their cherished classroom resources.

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Topics: black history

The Complexity of Black Agency in Judas and the Black Messiah

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on February 19, 2021

Before film director Ryan Coogler brought audiences the Black Panther film franchise, there was another Black Panther that loomed large in American culture. Director Shaka King’s new film Judas and the Black Messiah depicts the rise and fall of Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, and the role of Black FBI informant William O’Neal in those events. The film’s title is a reference to the biblical story in which the apostle Judas Iscariot betrays Jesus, leading to his execution. In addition to providing a primer on a rich chapter in American history, the film raises a number of questions for the viewer surrounding the richness and limits of Black political agency in the United States.

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Topics: black history

3 Teaching Ideas for Media Literacy Around Black Women and Girls

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on February 18, 2021

Though classroom instruction focused on media literacy has increased in recent years, that work is often focused on helping students differentiate fact from fiction. In the present news environment where we face an endless stream of questions surrounding the legitimacy of the information we encounter, helping students cultivate such skills is critical. It is crucial that we continue to probe the assumptions embedded in particular news sources, the goals that shape certain media representations, and question unthought mental models. But so too is there a chance to embrace media as something that can enlarge educators’ and students’ sense of what is true, what is possible, and who we can become in this nation and world.

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Topics: black history

Afrofuturism and Black Joy

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on February 12, 2021

Bettina Love put the concept of “Black joy” on the map in the education space with her groundbreaking book We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom. In it, she argues that students must not only learn about the suffering and oppression faced by Black people, but also about the resilience, creativity, and humanity of  this community. There are many ways to incorporate Black joy into one’s teaching, and one approach that educators can consider is the rich world of afrofuturism.

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Topics: black history, Black History Month

10 Black History Resources for Educators

Posted by Kaitlin Smith on February 9, 2021

This Black History Month and every month, there are a great many figures, moments, and concepts to highlight while teaching Black history in the classroom. But as information about possible material and approaches becomes more widely available, it can be difficult to pinpoint the best tools, strategies, and resources.

Below is a curated list of classroom resources and educator-facing workshops available from Facing History’s peer and partner organizations across the education space this month. 

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Topics: American History, black history

11 Strategies for Remote and Hybrid Teaching

Posted by Julie Halterman on February 7, 2021

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that many educators are continuing to teach partially or fully online, even as more schools in the United States are slowly shifting towards in-person learning. Hybrid and remote teaching requires educators to navigate new ways to connect with students during an immensely challenging and uncertain time in our communities, when students’ (and teachers’ own) social-emotional needs are just as critical as academic goals. We have adapted a collection of teaching strategies to support online learning, with a focus on sustaining community, supporting students, and creating engaging, meaningful learning experiences.

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Topics: Online Learning

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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