One of my most powerful childhood memories is seeing "The Ten Commandments" in the original "Cinemascope" at the now demolished Glendale Cinema on Avenue Road. I never forgot the grandeur of the huge screen especially in scene where Moses (Charlton Heston) epically raised his arms with the Rod of God aloft, and the sea crashed down upon the pursuing Egyptians while Pharaoh (Yul Brynner) gasped in awe and said: "The Lord is God." So much for nostalgia. I wonder what Moses would have said watching a synagogues of Germany burn down on Kristallnacht when firefighters stood idle and crowds gathered to gawk? He might well have asked, as do my students, "where was God"?
In this interview, we asked Rob Simon, Assistant Professor of Multiliteracies in Education at OISE/University of Toronto (Dept of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning), to tell us more about the Teaching to Learn Project so we could better understand how and why collaborative (teacher-adolescent) curriculum planning worked, why he chose Elie Wiesel's Night as the study text, and where he got the idea to ask project participants to paint on the pages of the text as a form of reading response.
The images below are the culmination of those responses, which were mounted in an exhibition titled After Night.
Myra Novogrodsky, who connected with Facing History as a classroom teacher back in the early ‘80s, was just honoured with a Diamond Jubilee medal for her contributions in Ontario as a community organizer, writer, and mentor. Myra shared with Facing History one place where she found her inspiration as a teacher. Here’s what she had to say: