What Happens in Our Classrooms Helps Create a Better World

Posted by Aileen McQuillen on December 1, 2015

In small ways, each day, Facing History and Ourselves is fostering positive changes in our world, with lessons that show students their choices have consequences. We call it choosing to participate. By exploring individuals’ choices in history, our students discover that mass violence, bigotry, and prejudice are not inevitable. Understanding their power in their own lives, they discover the power to act on behalf of others, in ways large and small.


“Speaking up against ‘small’ injustices often can be more impactful than looking for big causes to fight,” says Roy Hellenberg, a Facing History teacher in South Africa. Facing History classrooms are stimulating young people to active citizenship, a first step toward transforming their communities and even their country.

“The great part about Facing Hisyory is that we don't become paralyzed by the past. We look forward and think about how we can choose to participate," says Facing History alumna Saiida Bowie Little, who graduated from St. Martin de Porres High School in Cleveland, Ohio. 


Our supporters’ help puts civic engagement and empathy at the heart of classroom learning. Your gift allows Facing History classrooms to be places where students and teachers choose to recognize the humanity of people who are different from them. That’s integral to our educators’ lesson plans, and built into our seminars, resources, webinars, and workshops. And practice. “Through their own behavior, teachers show what it means to be compassionate and accepting of others different from themselves,” says Dylan Wray, a Facing History partner and educator in South Africa.

That is what we do, with our supporters’ help: create a better world, student by student, classroom by classroom. Give students the tools they need to face history, to be ethical citizens today, and part of a positive future. Become a supporter this #GivingTuesday and donate today to create the world we want to see tomorrow.


Topics: Classrooms, Students, Facing History and Ourselves, Giving Tuesday

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.


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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