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.

Read the CASEL Evaluation of FHAO’s Programming


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


How Do We Know It Works? A Summary of Key Evaluation Findings

Independent researchers and Facing History’s Evaluation team have conducted dozens of evaluation studies, including two randomized control trials. This document includes key findings from studies organized by teacher, student, and school level outcomes. It also includes validations by field experts of Facing History’s evidence of effectiveness.

Download the Summary of Key Evaluation Findings


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

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