image courtesy Cory Schiffern

CPS Takes New Approach With History

September 06, 2018 - 5:26 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Chicago Public Schools have started a new approach to teaching pivotal chapters in American history.

The curriculum is called Facing History and Ourselves, and it comes from a not-for-profit by the same name.

Starting this fall, CPS students in 8th, 9th and 10th grades will study units on the civil-rights movement, the Holocaust and the Reconstruction Era.

"Back when I was in school, we'd read in the book about what had happened in the past. But that connection to the present wasn't quite there.”

Cory Schiffern, who teaches middle school social studies at Mitchell Elementary in Ukrainian Village, says the Facing History curriculum goes beyond that.

"My favorite part of the Facing History units is, there's an element they call "Choosing to Participate," and it's kind of like, so now what?  What are the students going to do with this information now that they've learned about it?"

The Facing History website describes the partnership with CPS as "unprecedented."