This is the fifth story in our series, “A Network of Innovation: Ideas, Questions, and Wisdom from our LA Partner Schools.” This week, seniors at Animo Jackie Robinson are formally presenting their Student Action Projects, the culminating act of their Ethnic Studies course and a rich high school learning trajectory that emphasizes upstanding and community engagement. Ethnic Studies teacher Jasmin Gonzalez describes not only how students complete this challenging project, but how it takes an entire school community and coordinated, vertical planning to pull it off. While the experience is uniquely envisioned and carried out by Animo Jackie Robinson, the connections to Facing History’s focus on upstanding, core pedagogical approach, and support for interdisciplinary learning stand out as core elements that make our partner schools a dream to work with.
“Humanity is a complex idea. On one level, it simply means being human. On another level, however, it means being humane. What is the difference? Justice.”
Katherine McPhie, Grade 10 University High School, Irvine, CA
Facing History congratulates Chapman University and the 1939 Society for their 20th Anniversary of the Annual Art & Writing Contest! We have been a long-term partner with Chapman University in bringing this history and rich learning experience to students world-wide. The Chapman Art and Writing Contest has been instrumental in bringing the voices of Holocaust survivors and rescuers to inspire the learning and artistic expression of countless Facing History students.
As we prepare for our summer seminars at Facing History, we start seeing connections to our work everywhere, even Star Wars. It turns out we aren't the only one! We are pleased to share the following excerpt from the soon-to-be-released, The World According to Star Wars, from the chapter, Rebels, by Cass R. Sunstein.
Star Wars isn’t a political tract, but it has a political message. After all, it opposes an Empire to a Republic, and a First Order to a Resistance, and its heroes are rebels, who want to return peace and justice to the galaxy.
That’s one reason for the universal appeal of the saga. Whatever your political convictions, and wherever you live, you’re likely to see an Emperor of some kind, and you’re likely to have some sympathy for the rebels or the Resistance. Your teacher or your boss might seem like an Emperor. Maybe your nation’s leader reminds you of Palpatine; maybe the opposing party is the Resistance….
In order to be strong and powerful, you have to know who you are first."
Sana Amanat, Director of Content & Character Development at Marvel Entertainment, shared the thought above with students and educators at the 2016 celebration of Upstanders from Facing History Los Angeles Partnership Schools. On stage, Amanat shared how inspired she was by the students, who she credited with being further along than she was at their age by already making a difference. The students were inspired by Sana to find their own voice and continue contributing to a more diverse and compassionate world.
Facing History is proud to partner with YALLWEST Book Festival, the only book festival on the west coast dedicated to young adult literature. YALLWEST has generously provided funding for buses to bring students from a handful of Facing History schools to participate in the festival this coming weekend in Santa Monica. They've also donated hundreds of novels and graphic novels for Facing History students.
There are a lot of student opportunities at this time of year which could be engaging for students in a Facing History classroom. Here are a few that have come our way. Have you heard of others? Post them below to share with other teachers!
As part of Facing History and Ourselves’ second annual Facing History Together Student Essay Contest, “Student Voices: To Kill a Mockingbird in Today’s World,” middle and high school students across the U.S. have the opportunity to win individual and classroom prizes up to $2,500.
A few months ago, I posed the question, "how do you stay engaged? in a blog post reflecting on current events. One group of teachers engaged with this question - and each other - through an online forum callled Padlet.
Our New York office is engaged in an effort to bring together Facing History educators from different schools across the region in Professional Learning Communities, through a grant from the Booth Ferris Foundation. The PLCs meet monthly, virtually or in-person, so that Facing History teachers can share best practices, reflect on pedagogy and instruction, and explore new resources. In a recent discussion focused on helping students connect to the real world, they discussed our Learn+Teach+Share blog post by using Padlet.
As part of our on-going series this spring on "powering up" Facing History lessons, we share their Padlet response below.
On this Constitution Day, how will your students find meaning in the Constitution as it relates to their own lives, protections and responsibilities? Here are three ways to recognize Constitution Day on the official day, September 17, 2015.
This month Facing History and Ourselves is the featured partner on Connected Learning TV for the series, Creating Upstanders in Today’s World. We are publishing the recorded webinars here with additional resources.
What does it mean to be civically engaged today?
Our final webinar in the series gave us the opportunity to look at what student upstanding looks like today, and I was struck by the small steps and mindsets that demonstrate student engagement.
Whether you’re a parent, teacher, student, or not currently involved with formal education, what can you do to foster an attitude of standing up to injustice?
Join educators from the Learn+Teach+Share blog this month in exploring together the steps and strategies that can help students recognize their voice and agency in today’s world.