Tue July 10, 2007
Facing History In the Middle Schools
By Sarah Ledbetter
Memphis, TN – During a time when Tennessee schools are under increasing scrutiny by the state, Facing History and Ourselves' Memphis office has been working steadily to support the way teachers reach their students. In 1992, the Boston-based not-for-profit, which was co-founded by Memphian Margot Stern Strom, collaborated with six Memphis City Schools to improve the way students connect and identify with contemporary history. Over the years, the number of those students has grown steadily, and now a grant from the Assisi Foundation means every sixth through eighth grader in the City and County will have three years to explore history using FHAO's in-depth, hands-on approach.
To find out what that means for Memphis middle-schoolers, Sarah Ledbetter speaks with Micah Pender and LeAnne Fryman, a student and her teacher from Ridgeway Middle, as well as with attendees of this year's Summer Seminar for teachers. They talk about what Facing History does to the way students learn, and teachers teach, within and beyond a curriculum propelled by state and federal testing.