See Our Impact | Facing History & Ourselves
A teacher helps students during class.

See Our Impact

The Facing History & Ourselves approach has the power to transform the way teachers teach and the way students learn. And we have the research to prove it.

At Facing History, we are dedicated to teaching and learning. We want to know what's working, and what we can improve. We want our experiences to inform our future.

For more than 40 years, we have used data and reflection to create an evidence-based approach. And we are proud to report that our approach works.

Randomized controlled trials have proven that Facing History transforms students, teachers, classrooms, and schools. Our programs and resources improve:

  • academic achievement
  • social-emotional learning
  • civic engagement
  • classroom culture and more.


Inspiring Academic Engagement

Teaching Facing History increases classroom engagement and improves students’ reasoning and analytical skills.

  • A purple stack of books with the number 91% on top of it.
    91% of teachers who taught an elective Facing History course agreed that it promoted their students’ abilities to ground reading, writing, and speaking in evidence from text.
  • Orange icon of a student raising their hand and standing at their desk.
    Students in a Facing History classroom were 94% more likely than their peers to report that the class motivated them to learn.

Hear from educators and students.


How can we change society for the better?

We can choose.

ESSA Approved

Adopted in 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) outlines the current standards for K-12 education in the United States. With an emphasis on promoting high-impact, evidence-based educational practices, “Evidence for ESSA”  has identified Facing History as one of only a handful of programs that meet the rigorous ESSA standards for social-emotional learning in middle and high schools.

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Fostering Civic Participation

Students from Facing History classrooms report feeling a stronger motivation to become active civic participants. Students feel that our curriculum guides them toward a better understanding of themselves, as well as the academic content.. Our resources help students learn that their life choices can directly contribute to making the world a better place.

  • Icon of orange triangles and circles intersecting with black arrows.
    93% of Facing History students agreed that it is important to work for positive social change.
  • Aqua and black icon of an upstander student.
    92% of Facing History teachers agree that Facing History helps their students stand up for what they believe in, even when others disagree.
  • Teal pie chart showing 77% shaded.
    77% of students agree that their Facing History course increased their capacity to think critically about issues of racism and prejudice.

We Are Facing History

Facing History Educator Kerreth Griffin speaks.

As a current school principal, I share Facing History opportunities with all of my teachers.

I’ve seen the results.

I know that it works.

This programming and the leadership opportunities and the curriculum that was being studied gave a voice to all of my students.

When you come to Facing History you have to do a lot of, basically, soul searching, and it's about finding your identity.

An important part of life is knowing who you are and why you're that kind of person.

I saw students who walked into my classroom timid and afraid because they were different, or because they did not think the same as everyone else.

It pretty much opens your eyes, not only your eyes, your heart.

It expands your mind, so that not only, you're not just thinking about yourself anymore.

You think about the people around you.

I saw lightbulbs come on.

I saw defenses go down.

I saw them leave as leaders.

They don’t lose that when they graduate.

They carry that forward.

They carry that with them.

I was first introduced to Facing History and Ourselves when we had a guest lecturer come to my 10th grade English class.

We were reading Night by Elie Wiesel, and the guest lecturer was Rachel Shankman, whose family was directly impacted by the Holocaust.

It was very clear that this is, you know, living, breathing history, that this was a real person.

My entire, you know, worldview, I think, was shifted, starting right then and there.

I really was empowered to think about, what can I study to be the best version of myself and to have the broadest impact?

When I got there, I realized it was a lot different than any of the kind of protests I had been a part of.

I was just really overwhelmed with emotion because I realized the bravery of all the organizers who have been doing this work and putting their lives on the line in the past.

There was no reason there should have been a Charlottesville, but there is still that hatred and division.

And there’s still a lot of work to do.

Since 2009, Facing History has been my sanctuary, both personally and professionally.

Facing History, above all else, you know, gave me hope.

It gave me the stories of real people who didn’t stop standing up when it was hard.

I believe in the power of Facing History simply because I single handedly watched change happen to myself.

I watched myself understand more.

I watched myself grow.

I watched myself find myself more, and I mean, what's better than actually unlocking your true self?

If one student gets it, then our reach will continue to expand because it’s an investment in children.

It’s an investment in educators.

It’s an investment in our future.

“As a current school principal, I share Facing History opportunities with all of my teachers. I’ve seen the results, I know that it works. This programming and the leadership opportunities and the curriculum that was being studied gave a voice to all of my students.” –Kerreth Griffin, Facing History Educator

Endorsed by CASEL

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has named Facing History as one of a select group of programs that has a proven positive effect on students. These findings validate our role as a leader in social-emotional learning skills like, managing emotions, achieving positive goals, showing empathy, maintaining healthy relationships, and making responsible decisions.

Read the Evaluation

Cultivating Courageous Classrooms

Our educators are deeply connected to their classrooms and schools. Our program evaluation indicates that our teachers are skilled at developing learning environments and curriculum that encourage engagement, inquiry, and reflection. Educators who participated in Facing History professional learning report being overwhelmingly more satisfied with their roles as teachers compared to their counterparts.

  • Icon of a school building surrounded by dots representing a community.
    95% of students in Facing History partner schools have observed ways that Facing History positively impacts their school community.
  • Black and chartreuse icons of speech bubbles and a Facing History logo.
    98% of participating educators would recommend Facing History professional learning to others.

Randomized Controlled Trials

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are the gold standard for examining cause-effect relationships between programs and outcomes. Two RCTs–one focused on middle school students, and one on high school students– found meaningful and significant, academic, social-emotional, and civic outcomes for those students whose teachers had participated in Facing History professional learning.

Explore the Studies

Teachers and students who engage with Facing History resources positively contribute to their school communities. Our research validates that Facing History students were far more relationally mature, empathetic, and likely to get along with others; and teachers were far more likely to foster an inclusive learning environment where students felt safe and comfortable voicing their opinions.

Together, Facing History teachers and students raise awareness and increase empathy in their communities, creating the conditions for lasting, generational change.