What Makes Democracy Work?: Teaching History in the Secondary Classroom in Uncertain Times

Dr. Erika Lee Endorsed by the OAH Committee on Teaching

Thursday, April 20, 2023, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Type: Roundtable Discussion

Tags: Education; Professional Development


What does it take to sustain democracy? In today’s world, political and social tensions, eroding trust in institutions, and rising incidents of hatred and bigotry make this question more essential than ever. A panel of experienced Facing History and Ourselves Staff, Teachers and Scholars will discuss how to teach the fundamentals of democracy and the importance of engaged citizenship in the 7-12th Grade Social Studies and English Language Arts classrooms during troubling times.

Session Participants

Chair and Panelist: Tanya Huelett, Facing History and Ourselves
Dr. Tanya Huelett returned to Facing History and Ourselves in October 2021 as the Senior Director of Educator Content Development. She leads all educator content for Facing History, and in particular, development and release of Facing History’s first content support for full-year United States History courses.

From 2008 to 2017 Dr. Huelett was a Senior Program Associate in Facing History’s New York Office, working with educators to implement Facing History’s unique pedagogical approach in the classroom. She has more than 20 years of experience as a historian and educator in the field of moral and ethical education.

Dr. Huelett taught history at New York University (NYU), the Double Discovery Center at Columbia University, and most recently, the Brearley School. She worked as a researcher for Chicken and Egg Public Projects and at the Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy and as a facilitator for the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU, the Heyman Center at Columbia University's Justice-In-Education program, and WNYC's Radio Rookies program.

Over the course of her career, Dr. Huelett has been awarded fellowships by the United Negro College Fund, the Ford Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Indiana University and the University of Florida.

Dr. Huelett is deeply committed to honoring the legacies of historical actors who struggled to pursue freedom, equity, and justice for all, and to empowering and supporting young people on the same journey.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in degree from Spelman College and a doctorate in the history of the African diaspora from NYU.

Chair and Panelist: Jeremy Nesoff, Facing History and Ourselves
Jeremy Nesoff is the Director of District Partnerships at Facing History and Ourselves. He is a member of the Senior Program staff team with responsibility for implementing organizational program strategy. He uses his experience as the grandson of two Holocaust survivors and more than 21 years experience as a Facing History and Ourselves teacher, school leader, Facing History program staff member and in program leadership to develop meaningful learning opportunities for students, teachers, schools and school districts. He designs and leads professional development for educators in-person and online, presents at conferences in the United States and internationally, and consults with districts, schools and teachers to address needs in the areas of Civic Education, Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and Teaching for Equity and Justice.

Panelist: Dimitry Anselme, Facing History and Ourselves
Dimitry Anselme is the Executive Program Director for Professional Learning & Educator Support at Facing History & Ourselves. He joined the staff in 1999 after teaching American & World History courses at Brookline High School and at Doherty High School in Worcester, Massachusetts. In 2004, Dimitry became the High School Principal for the Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter Public School in Boston. He rejoined Facing History & Ourselves in the summer 2007. In his current role, Mr. Anselme wears many hats; he oversees the Online Learning team which delivers all of our online and digital professional learning experiences, the Program Staff Development which is responsible for quality control of our program offerings and the internal training of the program staff. He coordinates all of the regional strategic planning and ensures that it aligns with our mission and current strategic plan. Additionally, since 2017, Dimitry-and colleagues-is helping to manage an Innovation process at the organization preparing the next generation of products and services for Facing History & Ourselves to deliver. Dimitry graduated from Clark University and received his Master of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is originally from Haiti and grew up in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and has been living in the Boston area since 1985.