Evaluation Studies and Research

Facing History and Ourselves works continually to evaluate the effectiveness of our work with individual teachers, with students, and with schools.  See research highlights that demonstrate our impact, and download reports that provide supporting data.

Educators need evidence-based approaches for teaching complex social, civic, and political issues while enabling students of diverse mindsets and backgrounds to engage constructively with each other while gaining skills and knowledge.  Research on Facing History's work provides empirical support for our professional development approach.

 

Facing History Receives Top Honors for Social Emotional Learning

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has named Facing History and Ourselves as one of only nine programs in the US that has a proven positive effect on students, such as improved academics, increased empathy, and increased prosocial behavior.

These findings support Facing History's role as a leader in social emotional learning, the process of acquiring the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to understand and manage emotions, achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy, maintain healthy relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Download the 2015 CASEL Guide

 

Teachers College Record Article

“A Randomized Controlled Trial of Professional Development for Interdisciplinary Civic Education: Impacts on Humanities Teachers and Their Students”

A study published in April 2014 shows how Facing History helps students develop critical thinking skills and fosters both academic and civic growth, while  also promoting teacher self-efficacy and professional satisfaction.

The study, made possible by a gift from the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation, found that teachers who participated in a Facing History seminar and received coaching and support showed significantly greater self-efficacy for creating engaging classrooms and promoting academic skills and civic learning than control group teachers.

Read a summary of the study on Teachers College Record

 

Research Demonstrates Our Impact

A broad range of studies shows the difference we can make for students.

Improved Academic Engagement and Skills

Compared to their peers, Facing History students were:

  • nearly twice as likely to report that their class motivated them to learn
  • nearly 1.7  times as likely to report that their class increased their interest in reading

Improved Civic Attitudes & Awareness

Compared to their peers, Facing History students were:

  • 69% more likely to report feeling strongly that it is their responsibility to be actively involved in state and local issues
  • 43% more likely to report feeling strongly that people like them can make a difference in the community

Improved Social & Emotional Skills and Attitudes

Compared to their peers, Facing History students were significantly:

  • more likely to report getting along with different types of people
  • more relationally mature, less racist in attitude, and more empathic
  • more able to constructively address social conflicts
  • 44% less likely to report getting in fights, and 14% less likely to report having conduct problems

 

Key Research Documents

Master Evaluation Summary: How Do We Know It Works?

Updated yearly with new highlights, the Master Evaluation Summary brings together research highlights and key evidence of teacher and student outcomes from a wide range of studies carried out since Facing History's founding in 1976.

Master Evaluation Summary


Continuing a Tradition of Research on the Foundations of Democratic Education:  the National Professional Development and Evaluation Study

This is the most comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of our professional development approach. This randomized controlled study investigates the impact of a Facing History and Ourselves professional development intervention on high school teachers’ sense of professional efficacy, satisfaction, and growth of their students’ engagement and learning.

Provides full details of the National Professional Development Evaluation Study,  including teacher impact and student impact.

Read the full-length study (45 pages)


Facing History and Ourselves National Evaluation Study: Outcomes and Implications

Mid-length summary of the National Professional Development and Evaluation Project (NPDEP) (16 pages)

Schools that infuse the program through classrooms, faculty-and staff-wide training, and with advisory groups:

Develop cultures with zero tolerance for bullying

Promote long-lasting civic engagement among alumni

Foster academic persistence after secondary school

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