Why Address Bullying by Studying History?

Sometimes the best way to learn to think about the present is by way of a detour through the past. One of the challenges of examining bullying and peer aggression in the present is that young people are immersed in their own youth culture, cliques, and social dynamics. It's hard for young people to assess their own behavior objectively, or to imagine the impact of their behavior on other people in a distant future.

One way to give students tools to rexamine their own lives and communities is to step back from our current time and explore issues of injustice in the past. In Facing History classrooms, students explore case studies of the Holocaust or other moments of historical injustice. They learn a new language about identity and membership, about perpetrators, bystanders, rescuers, and upstanders. They learn how people make choices-tragically and heroically, and they learn how those choices make history. Equipped with the skills to examine injustice in a distant and troubling past, students learn how their actions in the present affect the welfare of their peers, their neighborhood, and ultimately our global community.

For thousands of educators and hundreds of schools around the world, integrating Facing History case studies into the history or language arts curriculum is an essential part of a comprehensive strategy to minimize peer aggression by nurturing communities of kindness and respect.



Facing History’s impact in supporting teachers’ effectiveness and promoting students’ academic development and civic learning has been demonstrated in more than 100 studies by independent researchers and Facing History evaluators.

See our most recent Annual Report to learn about our work, and measure our reach by looking at the number of teachers, students, and communities we impact.

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For questions about our coaching and consulting services, as well as our school and district-wide work, contact us at [email protected].

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Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.