Coming of Age in a Complex World: A Mini-Course for ELA Educators | Facing History & Ourselves
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Professional Learning

Coming of Age in a Complex World: A Mini-Course for ELA Educators

Explore hands-on strategies to teach coming-of-age texts and literature, centering students’ identities and lived experiences as young adults.

February 01, 2024 - February 29, 2024


Cost:  Free
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About this event:


Our multi-session professional learning series are designed for in-depth exploration of themes and topics that help educators strengthen their skills and competencies. Session information is included in the event details.


This professional learning event is self-paced and will be delivered virtually. When you register, you will receive instructions for how access and participate in the event.

This event qualifies for Certificate of Completion.

At the conclusion of the professional, participants can download a Certificate of Completion for 6 hours of attendance. Certificates may be submitted for a school’s or district’s approval towards professional development credits. Requirements for professional development credits vary by state. It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure that they are meeting the requirements of their school, organization, and/or state. 

English & Language Arts

Adolescence is a time when young people are crafting stories about who they are, how they understand the world, and how they fit into society. Literature has the power to inform and transform the way adolescents see themselves and others. Facing History’s approach to teaching coming-of-age literature integrates social-emotional learning, critical reading skills, and an equity focus with new research in adolescent development. It is designed to help your students value the complexity of identity, process texts through a critical and ethical lens, and develop their sense of agency. 

Educators will participate in this course as part of an asynchronous cohort.  While content can be accessed and completed at your own pace and on your own schedule, the cohort will follow a weekly schedule and move forward together, interacting via discussion boards and other communication tools.

During this four week mini-course, participants will:

  • Experience a Facing History approach to ELA through hands-on reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities using our collection of Coming-of-Age curriculum resources.
  • Practice strategies to foster and sustain student-centered classroom communities.
  • Consider the implications of adolescent development research on pedagogy and practice, and your relationships with students.
  • Develop the mindset and tools to build a Coming-of-Age unit that centers student identity, invites perspective taking and ethical reflection, develops literacy and critical thinking skills, and expands students’ civic capacities and sense of agency.


Module 1: Start With Yourself (asynchronous,  about 3 hours to complete): February 1–8

Module 2: Explore the Complexity of Identity (asynchronous, about 3 hours to complete): February 8–15

Module 3: Process Text through a Critical and Ethical Lens (asynchronous, about 3 hours to complete): February 15–22

Module 4: Develop a Sense of Agency (asynchronous,  about 3 hours to complete): February 22–29

Mini-Course At-a-Glance Details

Who should take this mini-course: 6th–12th grade English language arts and humanities  teachers, school leaders, and curriculum specialists. We invite educators from a variety of school settings including public, private, independent, and religious schools to apply. 

Cost: Free. The registration and event fees for this online offering have been waived thanks to generous funding from Facing History and Ourselves donors and supporters.

Duration: 4 weeks. There is a new module each week and all components will be asynchronous on Canvas.