Facing History’s evidence-based approach helps schools meet local, state, and national standards as it fosters empathy and reflection, improves students’ academic performance, increases their historical understanding, and encourages positive civic participation.
Facing History can work with you to develop a work plan for your school or district that meets your local, state, or national mandates. You can also read more about how Facing History meets Common Core State Standards and fosters social–emotional learning.
Facing History offers a wide array of educational resources, primary source collections, and professional development opportunities that help teachers meet the Common Core State Standards. Our resources emphasize close reading of challenging texts, and the development of critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills. We also offer professional development that has been proven to enhance teacher effectiveness and students’ academic development.
We have been working with districts across the country to support them as they roll out the Common Core. For example, Facing History has a long-standing partnership with the Boston Public Schools (BPS) through which we have developed units for the district’s civics and history curriculum in grades 8, 9, 10, and 11, reaching over 12,000 students each year. These units explore topics including Reconstruction, the civil rights movement, and the Holocaust.
Facing History recently developed companion resources for the BPS units that support teaching argumentative writing in alignment with the Common Core State Standards. Teachers have reported great results with the new resources. One teacher wrote, “Students are more thoughtful during the writing process. . . Students rarely think of this like a typical essay assignment, and their best writing comes through as a result.”
Fostering Social–Emotional Learning
Facing History’s program is an interdisciplinary model of education that integrates a rigorous investigation of history with critical questions about ethics and civic engagement. In fact, Facing History is one of the few educational approaches to foster the development of social–emotional competencies with alignment to Common Core State Standards.
Facing History’s approach aligns with core areas of social–emotional learning:
Self-awareness—Facing History fosters deeper awareness of identity, including how students see themselves, how others see them, and the factors that affect one’s identity.
Self-management—Facing History students actively engage with complex issues that elicit different perspectives and opinions. Facing History teachers emphasize respectful communication and deliberation. This involves managing ones thoughts and feelings in order to listen well and communicate respectfully and clearly.
Social awareness—One of Facing History’s hallmarks is its emphasis on perspective taking and developing empathy. Facing History helps students to “stand in others’ shoes” in order to understand and appreciate differences and to see the humanity in others.
Relationship skills—Facing History helps students develop the ability to communicate, cooperate, collaborate, and deliberate with others through group work and class discussions. Facing History teaches how to respectfully engage with others who hold different points of view about meaningful social and civic issues.
Responsible decision-making—Facing History students reflect on decisions made by people in history and the factors that influenced their decisions to inform their own ethical decision-making. Further, Facing History fosters respect for others, and awareness and concern for how one’s actions may affect others. Students develop a deeper sense of social responsibility and, therefore, a greater commitment to balancing one’s own interests and well being with the wellbeing of others in school and beyond.
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