Facing History and Ourselves – Fostering Civil Discourse around Current Events and History

Where: Harpers Ferry, WV
Jun 16 - 18, 2020


Fostering Civil Discourse around Current Events and History

In the early 1900s, the Eugenics movement, or “race science,” had a profound impact on educational and immigration policies, the legacies of which have created gaps in access to resources in our current educational, social, and political institutions.

In this workshop, we will explore how Americans historically debated who could enter our borders, as well as who was entitled to the benefits and resources of American citizenship. We will also consider how ideas of race and racism developed during the years of Jim Crow segregation and the Progressive Era, as well as resistance to these ideas through the Civil Rights Movement using a case study of the events at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957 and other pivotal moments. By studying this time period, educators will understand how these legacies continue today in our current educational and political structures and apply them while teaching.

There will be opportunities for educators to reflect on current events and their own educational and site-based settings and how to apply instructional strategies in the park context.

In this workshop, you will:

  • Get hands-on experience with Facing History and Ourselves pedagogical approach and teaching strategies
  • Engage in classroom strategies and activities to aid in having critical conversations about historical inequities and race in American History.
  • Have access to follow-up resources with Facing History to bridge your training to your classroom

After this workshop you will become part of the Facing History educator network, with access to a rich slate of educator resources, including unit and lesson plans, study guides, and multimedia.

Targeted Competencies

Foundations of 21st Century Interpretation

  • Site Research and Relevance: Continuously incorporate and amplify new and historically excluded perspectives to broaden the inclusivity of a place and its meanings
  • Building Audience and Community: Build opportunities for audience connection, contribution, collaboration, and co-creation to continuously learn from and with audiences
  • Self Awareness and Bias: Continuously learn about perspectives, beliefs, and experiences different from one’s own
  • Designing Visitor Experience: Design experiences where personal identity and expression, community perspectives, lived experience, and authentic practice provide integral input to the design
  • Designing Visitor Experience: Focus and structure interpretive experiences around relevant current issues using essential questions or other organizing tools

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Explore strategies to provide space for diverse viewpoints and establish space for sensitive topics
  • Practice encouraging active, engaged listening and fostering student reflection
  • Develop skills for promoting civic participation among students
  • Make connections between history, current events, park resources, and their current lived experience

Estimated Completion Time

24 Hour/s


IMPORTANT: This course is rescheduled for June 16-18


NPS Learning and Development is paying registration costs.  All other costs are incurred to traveler's park/office.

Pre-course work

Readings are required and will be assigned in early January delivered via email.


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