Teachers Say Teaching for Equity and Justice Makes a Difference | Facing History & Ourselves
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Teachers Say Teaching for Equity and Justice Makes a Difference

Teaching for Equity and Justice fosters equity awareness in order to build more inclusive classrooms and improve school culture.

Data analysis from Facing History & Ourselves shows that Teaching for Equity and Justice (TEJ) trainings excel at meeting educators where they are, no matter their prior level of experience. And almost all TEJ participants said they would recommend this professional learning to others.

Why does meeting teachers where they’re at matter?

We know that once a teacher is introduced to Facing History, they find great value in our content and often stay within our ecosystem, taking more of our trainings and using more of our curricular resources. If you’re new to Facing History’s content, it might feel overwhelming or intimidating to be in the same workshop alongside a seasoned Facing History educator, but the TEJ series strives to ensure every individual’s starting point is honored and brought into the conversation.

A three year evaluation, concluded in 2024, measured the impact of our TEJ offerings and indicated that we are meeting this goal. Our report also notes that within our TEJ district learning series, not only did we meet teachers where they were, but regardless of whether attendees came in with heightened awareness around equity concepts or little background knowledge, all individuals grew significantly in their awareness after participation.

But what is Teaching for Equity and Justice?

Teaching for Equity and Justice workshops are designed to take educators through a journey of examination and inquiry. Our approach begins with an examination of self. Then, through interactive pedagogy, the examination turns to historical access to education and the purpose behind going to school. With that historical context established, we conclude by exploring current systems of inequity and discussing what changes in policies and practices will lead to more equitable student interactions and outcomes.

Since its national launch in 2019, our TEJ training has taken multiple forms, including two-day workshops, multi-day summer workshops, and year-long learning series delivered to whole faculties over an academic year.

TEJ works for educators. Teachers say so, and so does the data.

Over 95% of individuals who took a TEJ offering reported that they have more:

  • Awareness and understanding of equity concepts and frameworks
  • Motivation and confidence in shifting equity outcomes in their school
  • Tools and practices for creating equitable learning environments

“I can't wait to return for another Facing History conference. This was my first experience and it exceeded any expectations I had. FINALLY an opportunity that didn't just address surface-level issues!” - TEJ Educator Participant

“Reminds me there is a lot to unpack and there are many layers to uncover. Once you think you have understanding, there is yet another level to explore.” TEJ Educator Participant

“The series has had a major impact on me. I feel more knowledgeable about the history of race in America. I feel more confident using the language surrounding diversity and equity, and I was able to identify areas of my conscientiousness that need improvement.” - TEJ Educator Participant

There’s more data to ponder.

Every professional learning opportunity from Facing History goes through a data collection process led by our evaluations team. The numbers and feedback we receive from these evaluations are critical to understanding the efficacy of our PD and how beneficial educators found the PD experience to be. 

Across all TEJ offerings, here are some important data takeaways that we will use to improve future facilitation.

  • Educators who had previously participated in Facing History had better experiences than those who had not previously participated in Facing History.
  • Middle and high school educators had better experiences than elementary school educators.
  • Educators who had been teaching for 5+ years had better experiences than those who had been teaching fewer than 5 years.
  • In org-wide TEJ offerings only teachers had better experiences than administrators.
  • In district TEJ offerings only administrators had better experiences than teachers.

Each workshop, seminar, or course offering we produce receives rigorous analysis so that we can clearly see what worked and what could stand to be changed. Month over month and year over year we follow positive and negative trends in our data. Information of this quality is an invaluable tool and an integral part of how we continuously update and improve Facing History’s teacher-facing learning. With this data we can fine-tune our professional learning in order to best serve all of our educators and school districts.

Interested in TEJ?

You can sign up now for our virtual Teaching for Equity and Justice Summer Institute happening Tuesday, June 25 and Thursday, June 27, 2024!

The application deadline is June 17, 2024. Registration may close earlier due to high demand, so apply soon!

This three-day online institute will connect you with educators across the country and give you access to best-in-class resources and guidance from Facing History. 

Register Today!

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