Fostering and Measuring Historical Understanding, Ethical Awareness and Civic Learning: What are We Learning from an Experimental Evaluation of Facing History and Ourselves

CMEI Colloquium
Gutman Library, Harvard Graduate School of Education
April 26, 2011

The five panelists collaborated on a randomized controlled evaluation of Facing History and Ourselves, an international educational organization that provides educators, students, and the community at large with an interdisciplinary model of civic education that integrates a rigorous investigation of history with critical questions about ethics and democratic civic engagement. Panelists described the study's design, measures, findings, and contributions to theory. They discussed how and why the study simultaneously addressed questions about program efficacy (“what works”) with questions about teacher and student development. The collaboration among professional evaluators, scholars from diverse and overlapping fields and practitioners enabled the team to develop a measure of program fidelity as well as innovative teacher and student measures in civic, moral, and history education.


Dennis Barr, Director of Evaluation, Facing History and Ourselves
Beth Gamse, Principal Associate, Abt Associates
Rachel McCormick, Senior Analyst, Abt Associates
Ethan Lowenstein, Associate Professor, Eastern Michigan University, College of Education
Robert Selman, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education