Social Studies and Education recently hosted a two-day course, “Race and Membership,” facilitated by the international educational organization Facing History and Ourselves. “The partnership with Facing History and Ourselves and TC is an important one as it represents a joint activity with a group whose values resonate with ours: upholding social justice and addressing historical trauma with careful attention to pedagogy and curriculum,” explains Associate Professor of Social Studies and Education William Gaudelli. “We are happy to be continuing this long-standing partnership, now approaching 20 years.”
In her role as a Facing History Development Assistant, Social Studies and Education Ed.M. student Ali Hawkins liaises with TC on a regular basis. “Where Facing History excels is helping students learn how to apply the lessons of history to their own lives. Through the training and support of teachers, Facing History enables students to study abstract historical ideas that happened ‘over there’ in a way that connects historical questions, problems and dilemmas to individuals’ everyday experiences. It gives young people a sense of hope and an understanding that their decisions matter.”
One workshop participant, Luke Bolton, is an Initial Certification student in Social Studies and Education and a recent arrival to the field of teaching. He explains that the course started on a “reflective note,” with discussions about race as a social construct. “This conception is an important step when addressing its social implications, especially for students discussing the issue,” Bolton shares. He was wowed by the “incredible amount of content covered at a whirlwind pace,” including boarding schools for Native Americans, the American eugenics movement and the Little Rock Nine and Brown v. Board of Education. Bolton was glad for the chance to interact with veteran educators with experience applying Facing History’s curriculum, and was grateful for the tools given to approach the content in his own teaching. “I am glad to have participated. Such experiences are incredibly important and will help both my future students and me to engage in the fascinating and controversial moments that make history one of the most interesting and rewarding subjects in school.”
To learn more about Facing History and Ourselves, visit facing.org.