I had a wonderful time at the annual day of learning sponsored by Facing History and Ourselves and Project Zero at Harvard University. I was fortunate to be invited by Veronica Boix-Mansilla (also at Project Zero) who co-hosted the event with Adam Strom of Facing History and Ourselves as we listened to and were informed about different ways that civic engagement can come about.
Facing History’s third annual Day of Learning brings together scholars across academic disciplines, professions, and geography to look at how we nurture in students the qualities that lead to leadership, action, and upstanding behavior. In an increasingly complex and globalized society, it can be difficult for young people to stand up for what they believe in and participate in their communities. New forms of digital media open new possibilities for students to get involved, but can also present barriers to access and pose their own ethical challenges (Facing History and Ourselves).
How would we engage our students of today, when we ourselves are overwhelmed? The media possibilities are clouding our certainty about what is happening and also helping us to respond faster and in more concentrated ways to political events. The internet helps us to see the needs but allows us to remain anonymous or even prevents us from acting because of the non-personal way we find out about outside events.
Speakers include Kwame Anthony Appiah, Laurance S. Rockefeller University professor of philosophy and chair of Facing History’s Board of Scholars, and Martha Minow, dean of the Faculty of Law at Harvard Law School and Facing History Board member, as well as distinguished thought leaders: Carrie James, Lynn Barendsen, Ethan Zuckerman, Doris Sommer, Sandra Arnold, and Roger Brooks, President and CEO of Facing History and Ourselves (Facing History and Ourselves).
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The speakers were so interesting on this topic…look these people up and start wondering what you, I, and all of us can do together!