Looking for inspiration? The California Council for the Social Studies holds its annual conference next week in San Diego and we have many activities to share! Not yet registered? There is still time to register. In addition to all of the sessions below where you can find Facing History, Sunday includes a live Gubernatorial Candidates Forum and administrators with one or more teachers registered for the conference can attend the Administrator's Colloquim for free!
We were proud to be part of two sessions at the California Association of Teachers of English conference March 9-11. Thanks to all who joined us, and for those who could not come in person, here’s a taste of what we shared.
Today’s News, Tomorrow’s History is an ongoing series with Listenwise. This series connects Facing History’s themes with today’s current events using public radio to guide and facilitate discussions around the social issues of our time. Listenwise is a regular feature on our Facing Today blog, and we are happy to now launch a special California series with Listenwise where we make connections to issues as they are particularly relevant for Californians.
Into-Action, a large scale pop-up art exhibition addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, opens up in Los Angeles on January 13th.
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis has inspired a beautifully-animated film soon-to-be released to theaters. Both highlight a role in the world today not often discussed: children of war who must take on the role of provider or "breadwinner" for themselves and/or their family. This role is further complicated in the setting of Afghanistan, where tightly-controlled gender expectations limit what women or girls can do.
Is literature one of your entry points for talking about challenging issues in the world today? Join Facing History and other educators for a unique event series which bridges literature and non-fiction to open new discussions on critical current issues.
William Hastie, the first African American to serve as a federal judge, asserted, “Democracy is a process, not a static condition. It is becoming, rather than being. It can easily be lost, but never is fully won. Its essence is eternal struggle.”
On social media and in previous posts on this blog, a number of teachers have identified a video, "The Legacies of Reconstruction" as providing a helpful voice this week. In addition to the opportunity to explore the history that is relevant for understanding today's world, there is a message of hope. For those not as familiar with the history of Reconstruction or this video in particular, we wanted to share an excerpt. We hope it is encouragement through tough conversations, whether at school or in our communities.
Earlier this week, we shared how three teachers interwove setting up their classes during the first days of school with creating space to grapple with current events. (Click here for that initial post.) We've continued to hear from teachers, including one who said poignantly, “basically, we need to teach Reconstruction as thoroughly/often as we teach the Bill of Rights, the writing of the Constitution."
Here are two more examples, one for a student classroom and one for bringing adults into conversation before they create discussion spaces with young people.
We’ve been hearing from a number of teachers that one of the key challenges in trying to facilitate conversation about the events in Charlottesville is determining what language to use, particularly in relation to groups and people.
Here are a few recommendations from our conversations:
- Let’s directly engage and confront the issue of white supremacy.