Explore how Facing History & Ourselves engages young people with challenging content through a process that builds the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of deep civic learning.
Facing History’s years of success are a result of our student-centered learning, best-in-class professional learning, and innovative teaching strategies. Research has proven that Facing History transforms students, teachers, classrooms, and schools—our pedagogy is powerful. We engage the mind, heart, and conscience of adolescents who are in the midst of determining who they are and how they interact with the world.
Adolescents ask big questions. Facing History classrooms offer the tools and space to explore the answers.
Facing History and Ourselves
We challenge our students to reflect on and analyze moral questions and dilemmas that arise during the study of history and literature. Our curriculum guides students as they explore human behavior, asking them to consider connections between their own actions and the actions of others. By examining the complexities of being human, we nurture caring and curious adolescents who grow into brave and engaged adults.
Our pedagogical triangle for historical and civic understanding demonstrates this approach.
Facing History created the Pedagogical Triangle for Historical and Civic Understanding to inform and balance our program and lessons. The arrows between intellectual rigor, emotional engagement, and ethical reflection are bidirectional, as these processes strengthen each other. At the center is students’ civic agency, their belief that they can play a positive role in their peer groups, schools, communities, and the larger world.
Coupled with stimulating and equitable teaching practices, our pedagogy measurably improves student outcomes. Our middle and high school teachers foster historical understanding, critical thinking, empathy, and other social–emotional learning competencies within their classrooms.
Facing History students are 94% more likely than other students to report that their class motivated them to learn.
92% of Facing History teachers agree that Facing History helps their students stand up for what they believe even when others disagree.
While the pedagogical triangle is the foundation for all of our programming, we have several core case studies that follow a specific progression of themes that take students on a deep learning journey. This structure is known as our scope and sequence or the Facing History journey.
Thank you for being an organization that I count on and trust to help me examine the role of teaching, student needs, and my own practice! Whenever I feel like I've been in a rut or needed that extra boost, Facing History has provided invaluable resources and ideas to create meaningful and important learning experiences for my students!
Coming of Age in a Complex World Online Seminar participant, 2021
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Women’s History Month not only provides the opportunity to further examine the profound ways in which women teachers, and broader perceptions of women, have shaped the teaching profession itself, but also reveals areas of patriarchal rhetoric we must disrupt in order to cultivate school communities that do right by teachers and students.
The world of podcasting offers a platform for marginalized peoples to share their stories that would otherwise go unheard. Facing History provides five podcasts produced by Native American individuals dedicated to fostering healing within their own communities through the process of telling their stories and sharing their insights.
With the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) currently taking place, Facing History hand-selected a curated list of conference events that speak to the Indigenous ways of conceiving of the natural world and its relationship to humanity.
During American Archives Month this October, Facing History wants to highlight the importance of primary sources to our pedagogical approach by offering five time-tested teaching strategies designed to incorporate analysis of primary sources into educator lesson plans.
In order for educators to ensure that LGBTQIA+ histories get their due in the classroom all year long, Facing History provides five reads that reflect on evolving ways of narrating the past, while centering underacknowledged narratives and protagonists who may not have been considered appropriate historical subjects in prior eras.
In honor of LGTBQ History Month, Facing History provides a list of ten documentary films and television series for an opportunity to gain knowledge of LGBTQIA+ histories and for educators to ensure these histories are addressed in the classroom.
5 New Books on Native American History, Life, and Resistance
In honor of Native American Heritage Month this November, Facing History staff members selected five new books exploring significant thematic grounds of Native American history and identity to highlight the importance of engaging students in exploring the histories and contemporary realities of Native American peoples beyond this month.
In honor of Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day, Facing History takes the opportunity to remember the pain, suffering, and loss sustained by the victims of the Holocaust, their families, and the generations that have followed them.
Earth Day grants educators the opportunity to consider the ecological issues facing the planet and the unique ways that they are impacting the young people in their classrooms, which both elevates youth activism surrounding the issue and provides a healthy environment to process "ecological grief."
How to Build an Affirming Classroom in the Face of Anti-Trans Legislation
In response to the rise of legislation targeting transgender people, Facing History provides resources for educators to build an affirming, welcoming class community for your students, especially trans and non-binary students.
In response to the outpouring of discussion and debate following President Biden’s statement that Russia’s ongoing assault on Ukraine constitutes genocide, Facing History provides five reads to address crucial questions educators and their students may be asking.