Teaching with Testimony is an educational program designed for middle and high school students that unlocks the powerful classroom potential of testimony. Drawing upon USC Shoah Foundation's vast library of audiovisual testimony from survivors and witnesses of genocides, Teaching with Testimony empowers students to find their voices and take action for a better future and is rooted in the belief that one person can make a difference.
Teaching with Testimony invites educators, students, parents and communities to create positive action by viewing powerful testimony from survivors and witnesses of genocides to evoke of sense of shared global citizenship and a call to make the world a better place. As USC Shoah Foundation founder Steven Spielberg has said, “we show the power of random acts of kindness because the best way to teach empathy is by using the power of example.”
Comprised of a series of standards-aligned digital curriculum for middle and high-school students, Teaching with Testimony challenges students to employ empathy, build critical-thinking skills and become inspired to create a brighter future after listening to first-hand accounts from survivors and witnesses of genocide. In addition to being deeply integrated into sections of Discovery Education’s Social Studies Techbook, Streaming Content Collections, and Professional Learning offerings, the program offers no-cost, digitally immersive resources, a video challenge, Virtual Field Trips and classroom activities online that provide educators with the tools they need to teach students to counter hate and respond to injustice.
By also tapping into Discovery Education’s vast network of teachers and students (its services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms and primary schools in the U.K. and reach over 5 million educators and 51 million students in more than 90 countries), the program was additionally marketed to key regions and audiences via a media campaign on DiscoveryEducation.com - a top teacher site with over 2.2 million monthly visitors - education trade press, social media, direct-to-teacher targeted e-blasts and e-newsletter callouts, Discovery Education community blog posts and grassroots outreach to Discovery Education’s influential teacher community.
Since its launch in Fall 2018, Teaching with Testimony has now reached over 1.6 million students, with program resources being downloaded over 8,000 times and videos being watched over 37,000 times. The 2019 U.S. Stronger Than Hate Challenge closed on May 16th, 2019. At close, there were 203 educators and 1,315 students involved, with 97 submitted entries. Compared to 2018, this year’s challenge saw a 174% increase in educator participation and a 41% increase in entries submitted.
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