LA2050 is an initiative that invites us all to innovate, imagine and create the future of Los Angeles. Facing History LA has a vision for strengthening the opportunity for youth to shape Los Angeles to be more compassionate, more engaged. Here one teacher shares his experience of this work. If you like what you read, vote for us in the LA2050 competition and share with others! We'd love to give this opportunity to youth from all over Los Angeles.
- How do you create a school culture that reads together, ponders big ideas, has a common language, and stands up for each other?
- What does it mean for civic participation that our students are now "digital natives"?
- How can teachers implement curriculum that is both rigorous and meaningful? ...that engages students in thinking about critical moments in history and their personal choices?
Last week we highlighted our top five posts for 2014. Here are a few more posts we think are hidden gems, and worth a second look.
Facing History and Ourselves has given me much: a collective of thoughtful, like-minded educators; a deep and sophisticated pedagogy; and perhaps, most importantly, a lens through which I can see and examine myself. Though I would have labeled myself a Facing History educator since 1995, it wasn’t until 2004 that I actually faced myself fully and not because I chose to but because one student gave me no opportunity of escape.
In America, nearly one in four children is an immigrant or was born to immigrant parents. Our classrooms are meeting a growing influx of students who speak little to no English, who are unfamiliar with American culture, and, in some cases, who lack formal education. The fate of these young immigrants is at the core of America’s continually emerging identity." - Jean-Michel Dissard, filmmaker
On November 3rd, Facing History and Ourselves is pleased to host a screening of I Learn America: One High School, One School Year, Five New Americans. The screening will be followed by a conversation with UCLA Graduate School of Education Dean Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, filmmaker Jean-Michel Dissard and students featured in the film. Jean-Michel shared some of his thoughts with us in preview of the event.
On October 11, 2014 at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools Campus, more than 15 schools and upwards of 120 students, teachers, parents, and administrators took the time on a Saturday to come together with one common goal: Strengthening school community.
Facing History Los Angeles hosted our 3rd Annual Los Angeles Partnership School Summit on School Culture. In our first year of this summit, we featured the film BULLY and looked at how small steps can make a difference for peers confronting bullying on campus. Last year we considered a short animated film from StoryCorps, Listening Is An Act of Love, to grow beyond just stopping bullying and consider how to build a positive school culture by small acts of compassion. This year, we continued to explore ways to build a stronger community by considering the steps of an "upstander."
Imagine a Los Angeles where we consistently treat each other with civility, compassion, and understanding, across all backgrounds, where there is genuine curiosity for others' stories and a willingness to question long-held assumptions. Imagine a Los Angeles where civic participation is part of our ethos, where individuals engage in dialogue and discussion with a common vocabulary, where we are able to confront the difficult moments of our past and its legacies in order to foster a shared sense of responsibility for our future. Where young people come first, where we invest in education and in our teachers, where it really is the best place to learn and to live.
We could do this. You can help.
Facing History and Ourselves hosted a conference for partnership schools in our international Innovative Schools Network October 19-21, 2013 in Washington DC. Rather than just tell you about the conference, though, we wanted some of the teachers who attended to share their thoughts directly. We heard from:
At Facing History in Los Angeles, we're getting ready to bring 20-25 high schools* together to explore building stronger communities, so we're thinking a lot about this idea. Since its inception, Facing History and Ourselves has valued and taught how to create safe and reflective classrooms. As the educational partner for the film "Bully" over the past year and a half, we've worked with many schools who want to confront bullying school-wide. Last year, we brought together 25 schools to view the film and come together as school cohorts and student/parent/faculty stakeholders to more deeply explore this issue. But, preventing bullying is just a baseline. Don't we all want more than just a lack of bullying?
As the new school year unfolds, teachers throughout Los Angeles and around the country are getting to know their students and thinking deeply about how they can help them excel and achieve. While student achievement is measured in various ways—standardized tests, SAT scores, graduation rates—what ultimately matters most is students’ postsecondary success in college, career, and citizenship. From the state house to your house, all kinds of stakeholders are increasingly recognizing that preparing students for 21st century demands and opportunities means supporting them in different ways and towards different outcomes. Many school districts are developing indicators of college and career readiness, defining qualities and skills students need to master in order to enroll, persist, and graduate from college and get good jobs. Where does Facing History curriculum fit within all of this?