This guest blog is part of a series, “A Network of Innovation: Ideas, Questions, and Wisdom from our LA Partner Schools.” Each of our partner schools has at least one unit-length Facing History case study that every student experiences on their path to graduation. At Valor Academy High School, there are numerous Facing History units. Ben Katcher’s unit on the Nanjing Atrocities has long stood out to us because while this is a particular event that is often unknown and untaught, it nevertheless touches on so many critical universal themes that students find relevant and compelling. We invited Ben to share about his approach.
Last week, the nation watched as LA teachers conducted the first work stoppage in LA Unified School District in 30 years. Despite a week of hard rain, teachers, students, parents, and community members were on picket lines. Why? And now that an agreement seems imminent, how can teachers and students in LA classrooms use this as a learning opportunity about education, as they transition back to school?