As a middle school educator, I often find myself in the position of being unable to explore really rich resources with my class due to mature content. Several years ago I purchased 5 sets of the graphic novel MAUS, hoping to one day use it as an option for book talks.
Topics: Books, Antisemitism, Choosing to Participate, Facing History Resources, Holocaust, History, Canada, Holocaust Education, current events, Middle School, genocide, Lesson Ideas, Holocaust and Human Behaviour
As an educator I often wonder what students remember once they have left my classroom. It is my hope that when they leave they take with them critical thinking skills, the ability to engage in difficult conversations, and a deeper understanding of how we are all connected - in the past, present, and future. Through all of my various attempts to learn from my students what they are getting out of their Facing History and Ourselves class, I have found that the best way to find out what students are learning is to ask them.
Each year, at the end of our grade 11 elective Facing History and Ourselves course, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, we take the time to reflect on our learning and ourselves. This year a group of students from my classroom chose to participate in a reflective interview process in lieu of their final journal entry assignment, and agreed to share their reflections.
Below, as inspired by the popular blog Humans of New York and the Facing History project, Humans of the Woodlands, you'll have the chance to glimpse into the classroom learning and life of a few of my Facing History and Ourselves students.
Topics: Choosing to Participate, Identity, History, Holocaust Education, Memorial, We and They, Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, legacy, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanities Course, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, Inside a Genocide Classroom, Social Justice, Personal history, reflection
I used to think that Holocaust perpetrators were "other people", some monsters out there. And suddenly I had to realize that my own grandfather was one of them.
Ursula Boeger, granddaughter of Friedrich Wilhelm Boger, Officer at Auschwitz Concentration Camp
"The Ghosts of the Third Reich" documents the poignant and anguished stories of descendants of the Nazis as they confront their family's past and communicate their most profound feelings of guilt by inheritance. These individuals, whose family members were supporters, officers, and elite of the Nazi regime, share a common desire to distance themselves from Nazi ideology and the actions of their ancestors; and to liberate themselves from the guilt, shame, and pain that continue to levy a heavy price seventy years later. The confrontation with the inheritance of the Nazi legacy is powerfully evoked further in the inclusion of moments from The Austrian Encounter, a focal point for dialogue between descendants of Nazi perpetrators and survivors of the Holocaust.
Directed by: Claudia Ehrlich Sobral and Tommaso Valente
Produced by: SD Cinematografica
Duration: 45' Format: HD DVD
See the trailer:
Educators with library access may contact Jeannette Slater at firstname.lastname@example.org if they would like to borrow this resource.
Topics: Professional Development, Choosing to Participate, Human Rights, Facing History Resources, Identity, History, Technology, Best of..., Lesson Ideas, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, Social Justice
As the end of the calendar year quickly creeps up on us, the Facing History blogging team decided to discuss the future and, while talking about the future, we reminisced about the past. We thought about what a great year of sharing and learning it has been. We decided that to celebrate this year of blogging we wanted to share with our readers the posts, voices, and teaching ideas that made us pause, think, and reflect – on history and on ourselves. Over the next few days we will be sharing our favorite posts and undiscovered gems from our LANetwork Blog out of Los Angeles, our OnNetwork Blog here in Toronto, and our InterFacing Blog, which focuses on the intersection of technology and education. Thank you for joining us on the blogs over the last 12 months. We hope these gems of wisdom and practice from the past help you reflect on your own year that was, and be sure to subscribe to this blog to make sure you see the Best of 2013, meet the new bloggers, and read exciting new posts in 2014! Happy New Year from all of us here in the Toronto Office of Facing History and Ourselves.
Topics: Choosing to Participate, Facing History Resources, Identity, History, Memorial, current events, Middle School, Lesson Ideas, In the news, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, English Classroom, Social Justice, LGBTQ, Personal history
We know that it's not easy to teach about the Holocaust and genocide. For many the topic is very difficult and many students cannot wrap their heads around the scope and magnitude of how these mass murders could occur, particularly about the idea of how an entire nation could allow horrific events like this to happen. Creating that safe, caring classroom is essential in being able to have these difficult lessons. In a middle school classroom, these are essential conversations, as students at this age care and have a strong sense of fairness and justice.
As the end of each school year draws near, I feel a great deal of frustration. As students are overwhelmed with culminating assignments or the decisions that they made about completing school work for the previous 9 months, the demands on the teacher expand exponentially as well. As I work with the Growing Success system and school programs such as student success and credit rescue, I struggle to ensure that the decisions that I make maintain the integrity of the course, give students the opportunities they deserve or need, and maintain the intent of the ideals of character education. I find this overwhelming.