Facing History and Urban Education
Facing History has a deep commitment to teachers and students in underserved urban areas, which represent over 60% of our work in schools. The problems and issues confronting urban schools are typically manifestations of larger societal problems related to social inequality, racism, and the deterioration of resource-deprived urban areas across the world.
By providing research-supported content and pedagogy that engages teachers and students and stimulates them to learn at the highest levels, Facing History works to bridge the opportunity gap that impedes success for young people in under-resourced communities.
Civic Learning Lab Videos
In 2012, with support from the Rita Allen Foundation, Facing History launched an Urban Civic Learning Lab in Memphis to continue to evaluate and communicate our extensive work in urban education. As part of this work, last November we brought together 400 key scholars, teachers, administrators, students, and reformers to discuss the challenges facing urban schools and share solutions at “Engaging Education,” a full-day conference in Memphis. Some of the highlights from this work are featured in the short videos below.
Engaging students and helping them develop the desire to learn and the capacity to reflect is crucial to helping them develop what the psychologist Angela Duckworth refers to as “grit,” which she defines as “perseverance for a passion.
April 17, 2013
Urban teachers’ roles have never been more challenging in light of a more diverse spectrum of student skills, needs, and interests in their classrooms.
February 20, 2013
The problems and issues confronting urban schools are typically manifestations of larger societal problems related to social inequality, racism, and the deterioration of resource-deprived urban areas across the world.
June 5, 2013
Violence is too prevalent in many of our urban neighborhoods, and although school is frequently the safest place for a young person to be, disruptive implications can spill over into classrooms and hallways.
January 23, 2013
When attempting to engage students and adults in conversations about “race” it’s important not to make shortcuts. Too often the conversation is opened without having done the proper group-building work and exploration of identity/membership issues before getting into the discussion.
The story told about urban education today is all-too-often bleak: soaring teacher dissatisfaction, low student engagement, high drop-out rates. But another story is unfolding, quietly playing out in urban schools, communities, and districts around the world.
More Featured Videos
Conformity and Obedience
In this 8-minute video of a class at Douglass High School in Memphis, Program Director for Urban Initiatives Steven Becton uses George Orwell’s 1984 to engage students with themes of Conformity and Obedience. During the conversation, students make connections to how the issues play out in Nazi Germany and in their lives today.
In this 10-minute video, Dr. Claude Steele, social psychologist and dean of the Stanford School of Education, who keynoted Facing History’s ”Engaging Education” conference, explores the “identity contingencies” and stereotype threats that too often impact the experiences of minorities and women and affect student outcomes.
Carson Schools Network
In this 6-minute video from the February 2013 Facing History Network Schools symposium, teachers and administrators talk about the value of being part of a network. The Carson Schools Network provides opportunities for educators in greater Los Angeles to share best practices and tackle some of the most challenging issues in urban education.