Transforming Schools

Facing History’s engagement with teachers and schools exists on a continuum, from providing professional development, educational resources and support to individual teachers, to implementing a robust whole-school model, which impacts the culture of the entire school.

What We Offer 

When Facing History works with schools to offer curriculum development, school-wide programming, and whole-staff engagement, the result is a school community that takes issues of ethics, social responsibility, prejudice, and justice seriously. Teachers and students then share a common language to help them identify and discuss these issues—in the classroom, in student advisory, in staff meetings, and in the broader community.

To have the deepest impact on school and classroom climate, student engagement, and social-emotional learning (SEL), Facing History’s staff works with whole schools in a range of areas, including

  • providing professional development, curriculum resources, and ongoing coaching for teachers who are implementing Facing History’s social studies, history, civics, and ELA content in the classroom
  • advising on overall course curriculum sequencing in order to realize the greatest impact
  • providing counsel to the school principal and leadership team on civic and character education and SEL, in the context of local, state, and national standards
  • facilitating on-site professional development for the whole staff to encourage everyone in the school community to develop a shared set of values and common language
  • supporting student advisory sessions with resources to explore identity, group membership (and inclusion/exclusion), issues of justice and fairness, and ways of “choosing to participate”
  • providing assistance with service learning projects, including frameworks for thinking about the complex issues they are investigating
  • supporting the development of student leadership groups
  • providing guidance in developing new systems of school discipline based on fairness, reconciliation, and restorative justice
  • providing (or supporting students in providing) sessions for parents and community members on Facing History’s case studies and pedagogical approaches
  • recommending speakers (including scholars, civic leaders, writers, activists, witnesses to history, and upstanders) for school-wide speakers’ series

Impact on School Climate

Evaluations of Facing History’s whole-school efforts have captured positive impacts on school climate. Students and teachers report improvements in how students speak with and respond to one another as they internalize a new set of behavior norms. Teachers reported that their school community responded more constructively to conflict, including

  • increased collaboration to develop a community response
  • reframing an incident to address it constructively and
  • reacting non-defensively and using behavioral incidents as teachable moments

In another school, students praised the open, safe classroom environment and reported that respect permeates the school:

  • 95% of students observed ways in which Facing History has positively impacted the school
  • 93% of students agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “Facing History’s presence in my school has increased my capacity to understand and feel for people who are different from me”
  • students noted zero tolerance for bullying

Bring Facing History to Your School

Facing History can work with you to develop a tailored program to meet the needs of your school or district.

Take the first step. Learn more about how Facing History's services for schools, then get in touch with our team.

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