Ideas and Insights: A Discussion on Decolonizing and Indigenizing Classrooms, Schools and Systems

Posted by Jasmine Wong on May 28, 2019

On March 31st, 2019,  Facing History and Ourselves in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario partnered with Durham District School Board, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, Peel District School Board, Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board and York Region District School Board to host a day long educator conference to discuss ways educators and institutional leaders have worked, and can work to decolonize and Indigenize education.  

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Topics: Indigenous, Decolonizing Schools

Leading Disruption and Decolonizing Education: Wanda Nanibush in Conversation with Niigaanwewidam Sinclair

Posted by Jasmine Wong on May 28, 2019

 

On March 31st, Facing History and Ourselves, in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario invited University of Manitoba scholar Niigaanwewidam Sinclair and Art Gallery of Ontario Curator Wanda Nanibush to discuss institutional disruption, decolonization and Indigenization, as part of a day-long conference for educators.  This event was recorded and can be viewed here.  

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Finding the Words to Speak After Trauma: Remembering Donia Blumenfeld Clenman

Posted by Jasmine Wong on May 27, 2019

In the Aftermath Project, director Sarah Terry reminds us that war is only half the story:  "To be fully informed, we have to know the stories of post-conflict."  It is in these stories, "where we are constantly redefining what it means to be human, what it means to live again, to rebuild civil society, to recover from trauma.  If we don't know these stories, then we don't really understand the world we live in, and we will repeat history again and again and again."  Through her poetry, Holocaust survivor Donia Blumenfeld Clenman conveyed some of these essential stories of the aftermath of genocide.  With clarity, humanity and gentleness, her words connect us to her struggles, and teach us what it means to face - and recover - from trauma. In the month of her passing, we remember her legacy and honour her words.

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Topics: Poetry, Survivor Testimony, Judgement and Legacy, difficult conversations, Holocaust History in Canada

The Road to Equity: How do you define equity? Part 2

Posted by Amy Smith on May 7, 2019

This is part two of Amy Smith’s Blog The Road to Equity: How do you define equity? In part one she discussed her own learning journey of gaining additional knowledge about groups identified as in need of more support in schools in the equity and inclusion branch of Peel Board’s five year School Success Plan. All of her reading and learning encouraged her “to really reflect on the life I was living, and the privileges I have that I was not even aware of simply because I was born in a white, abled, cisgender body.” In part two she will cover how she took her own learning and expertise to help other educators start their journey, to start learning about who they are as people and how their privilege and bias impacts their students.

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Topics: Teachers, Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, big paper, Equity in Education, positionality, collaborative inquiry

Unlearning Hate: Responding to the Rise of White Nationalism

Posted by Margaret Wells on April 26, 2019

On Monday May 6, 2019 Facing History and Ourselves Canada is celebrating our tenth anniversary with a program called Unlearning Hate: A Conversation with Derek Black and Allison Gornik at the Toronto Centre for the Arts.

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Topics: Antisemitism, difficult conversations, apologies, Facing Canada, white supremacy, islamophobia

Balancing the Responsibility to Disrupt and Decolonize with the Reality of my own Whiteness

Posted by Dr. Debbie Donsky on April 23, 2019

A Response to: Leading Disruption & Decolonizing Our Institutions: Facing History & Ourselves

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Topics: Truth and Reconciliation, Indigenous History, Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, Indigenous, difficult conversations, trc, stolen lives, settler eucators, Treaty, Sacred Circle Teachings, Decolonizing Schools, Facing Canada

A Note About Facing History- From a Facing History Student

Posted by Shireen Afzal on April 9, 2019

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” How many of us have heard this quote or a variation of it? Sayings like these are repeated so often nowadays that they have lost meaning. People will complain, “I don’t need you to lecture me, I already know all this,” “The past is the past, leave it behind where it belongs,” or a blatant dismissal from those who are so cemented in the now, that they refuse to see the truth right in front of them.

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Topics: Student Voices, Choosing to Participate, Armenian Genocide, Students, Facing History and Ourselves, Holocaust Education, Rwanda, Student Work, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanities Course, Equity in Education, Facing Canada

A Mindful Classroom: Establishing a Safe Space for Sensitive Topics

Posted by Heidi Crowley on March 26, 2019

A Mindful Classroom: Establishing A Safe Space for Sensitive Topics

Many of us have seen the importance of mindfulness in our classrooms and personal lives. Being present and aware are integral to truly absorbing what is around you. How mindful are we of exactly what is around us in the classroom? The physical space we build for our students is often an afterthought to efficiency and more intangible metrics of behaviour and dynamics. This year, I made it my goal to be mindful of the materials within my classroom and how well they represent the values I hope we exercise within these walls.

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Topics: Art, Student Work, Indigenous History, Social and Emotional Learning, Middle School, Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, facing history pedagogy, Treaty, Facing Canada, cross curricular teaching and learning

Remixing Facing History and Ourselves For Middle Years

Posted by Jon Sorokowski on March 21, 2019

Ever since attending my first Facing History and Ourselves workshop, I have looked for ways to incorporate Facing History pedagogy into my middle-years classroom. This year, I used the scope and sequence and pedagogical triangle to design the structure of my Grade 8 English Language Arts course.

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Topics: Strategies, Book, English, stolen lives, Reading List, Decolonizing Schools, Facing Canada, cross curricular teaching and learning

6 Ways to Incorporate Cross Curricular Approaches in Your Social Sciences Classroom

Posted by Heidi Crowley on March 6, 2019

Why Cross Curricular?

We know that time with students is limited, so taking advantage of repeated themes which exist between courses to help build bridges between knowledge gaps is an effective strategy. We also know that in the hecticness of a regular school day, these great concepts are often just that- concepts- because we don’t have time to take on anything more between teaching, marking, meetings, that varsity game you promised to attend, and the play you are helping find props for. Here are a few ideas with ready-to-use resources so that, if one speaks to you, you can easily use it within your classroom sooner rather than later. Remember, trying out one of these ideas on your own first and then looking to next year to work collaboratively can be a starting point, if finding an interested colleague to collaborate with proves difficult.

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Topics: Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, facing history pedagogy, Treaty, Facing Canada, cross curricular teaching and learning

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This is where Canadian Facing History and Ourselves teachers and community members meet to share reflections, scholarship and teaching practices that will inspire, challenge and improve teaching and student learning. Our stories provide a window into diverse Facing History classrooms in Canada, and invite you into the discussion.

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