Making a Positive Difference
Facing History believes the paramount purpose of education is to prepare students to become active and thoughtful participants in society who can make a positive difference in the world. Schools are a microcosm of democracy, and students develop and strengthen their “participation muscles”—a combination of civic skills, knowledge, and dispositions—throughout their education.
The concept of choosing to participate grew out of Facing History’s early work with middle school students who learned about the steps that led to the Holocaust, including the failure of democracy, and wanted to know, “How can I make a positive difference so this doesn’t happen again?”
Our approach helps students understand that progress toward a more just, equitable, and inclusive society has never been inevitable; rather, it is the result of the choices large and small by both individuals and groups.
Who Is an Upstander?
From Reflection to Action
Through a wide range of activities designed to promote historical understanding, critical thinking, civic engagement, and self-reflection, students explore how society influences us and how we can make a lasting impact.
Facing History Encourages Civic Engagement
93% of students participating in a Facing History student leadership group agreed that it is important to get involved in improving their community.