How It Works | Facing History & Ourselves
Students and teachers in group discussion at table

How It Works

We deepen students’ understanding of how their choices and actions can help shape a better, more equitable future.

Shaping a better future requires a different kind of classroom.

Facing History’s approach inspires educators and empowers young people who believe they can make a difference. How does it work?

Partnering with Educators

Facing History Starts with Teachers. Our teachers are changemakers. Facing History works because of the hundreds of thousands of dedicated educators in our network. By utilizing Facing History’s curriculum, professional learning, and approach, they open the hearts and minds of their students—building confidence, empathy, and a sense of purpose in the next generation.

We also see the challenges and pressures teachers face every day. Our work offers them meaningful support and practical tools designed to help them create brave, inclusive classrooms where rigorous instruction and social-emotional learning are fully integrated. 

Become a Facing History Educator

Educator speaks in classroom.
Facing History Educator Kerreth Griffin speaks.
Facing History educator Alayna W. speaks.

Michelle L, Teacher

"Facing History is a guide for how I conduct my classroom."

As a current school principal, I share Facing History opportunities with all of my teachers.

I’ve seen the results.

I know that it works.

This programming and the leadership opportunities and the curriculum that was being studied gave a voice to all of my students.

When you come to Facing History you have to do a lot of, basically, soul searching, and it's about finding your identity.

An important part of life is knowing who you are and why you're that kind of person.

I saw students who walked into my classroom timid and afraid because they were different, or because they did not think the same as everyone else.

It pretty much opens your eyes, not only your eyes, your heart.

It expands your mind, so that not only, you're not just thinking about yourself anymore.

You think about the people around you.

I saw lightbulbs come on.

I saw defenses go down.

I saw them leave as leaders.

They don’t lose that when they graduate.

They carry that forward.

They carry that with them.

I was first introduced to Facing History and Ourselves when we had a guest lecturer come to my 10th grade English class.

We were reading Night by Elie Wiesel, and the guest lecturer was Rachel Shankman, whose family was directly impacted by the Holocaust.

It was very clear that this is, you know, living, breathing history, that this was a real person.

My entire, you know, worldview, I think, was shifted, starting right then and there.

I really was empowered to think about, what can I study to be the best version of myself and to have the broadest impact?

When I got there, I realized it was a lot different than any of the kind of protests I had been a part of.

I was just really overwhelmed with emotion because I realized the bravery of all the organizers who have been doing this work and putting their lives on the line in the past.

There was no reason there should have been a Charlottesville, but there is still that hatred and division.

And there’s still a lot of work to do.

Since 2009, Facing History has been my sanctuary, both personally and professionally.

Facing History, above all else, you know, gave me hope.

It gave me the stories of real people who didn’t stop standing up when it was hard.

I believe in the power of Facing History simply because I single handedly watched change happen to myself.

I watched myself understand more.

I watched myself grow.

I watched myself find myself more, and I mean, what's better than actually unlocking your true self?

If one student gets it, then our reach will continue to expand because it’s an investment in children.

It’s an investment in educators.

It’s an investment in our future.

Kerrith G., School Principal

"I’ve seen the results. I know that it works.” 

Alayna W., Teacher

"Facing History allows students to dive into deep and interesting and controversial history, but it also gives them the tools to connect it to contemporary issues that they face every single day.”

Expert Guidance

Education is always evolving. Today's teachers are under pressure to adapt to the changing circumstances of their students and the world. Our expert guidance can help.

Professional Learning

Facing History’s team of expert educators develops and delivers in-depth and on-the-go professional learning opportunities that help teachers be ready, responsive, relevant, and effective.

Personalized Support

It's really hard to go it alone—and you shouldn't have to. When you sign up to teach Facing History, you join a learning community of educators with access to continuous online support and timely professional learning that guides you in each stage of your career.

Support for School Leaders

It takes an aligned and committed team to transform a school into a brave space where students feel they belong and take ownership of their school community. We can help you build your team’s vision and realize your goals.

Teaching Resources

We work closely with scholars and educators to design teaching resources that are relevant to the challenges that educators and students face each day.

Learn More & Get Started

Facing History has provided me invaluable resources and ideas to create meaningful and important learning experiences for my students.
— Facing History Educator
A teacher receives support from other educators during a professional development workshop.

Learning for Everyone

Everyone has a role to play in standing up to bigotry and hate. Though our approach was built to serve teachers and students first, we know that it can be applied in community groups, global settings, the workplace, and beyond. Find the right learning event for you.

Learning for Everyone