Facing History and Ourselves

Facing History is a 35 year old non-profit organization devoted to addressing bigotry and prejudice through education. The core of our work is helping educators lead their students through deep investigations of the Holocaust and Civil Rights Movements. Through these investigations, students confront the decisions that people made in times of tragedy and injustice, recognize how those decisions have shaped the world we live in, and use that insight to make more thoughtful, compassionate decisions in their own lives. Randomized trials have demonstrated that their model improves teacher efficacy, students’ historical thinking skills and civic dispositions, and school culture.

Currently, Facing History’s professional development model depends on deep, individualized follow-up work. I consult with Facing History to help develop a distributed, networked, scalable model of professional learning that will allow their committed community of educators to scale and sustain their work. We’re redesigning our website to include modular & social content, social playlists, robust user profiles, badging to identify users, and other features to build and sustain community. While that’s happening, we’re nurturing communities online through live webinars, social media (Facebook and Twitter), and new blogs for our LA and Toronto offices.  The project addresses questions of whether online spaces can be used to help educators teach about some of the most intimate dimensions of human learning: judgment, civic participation, and ethical behavior.

Facing History website