Facing History and Ourselves Presents Findings at TC

On Wednesday, February 16th, 2011 Dr. Dennis Barr of Facing History and Ourselves presented the findings of Facing History’s National Professional Development and Evaluation Project at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City.

The President of Teachers College, Susan Fuhrman, attended the event and gave the opening remarks for the symposium. Kevin Feinberg of Facing History and Ourselves (and a Teachers College alumnus) provided the audience with introductory context about Facing History’s work in New York and described Facing History’s relationship with Teachers College. Professor Margaret Crocco, Chair of the Arts and Humanities Department and Program Coordinator of the Social Studies Program at Teachers College, was instrumental in designing, coordinating, and executing the event. Overall, the event was a wonderful display of cooperation, coordination, and partnership between Facing History and Ourselves and Teachers College. More than one hundred people attended this event, including Steven Goldberg, the President of the National Council for the Social Studies.

Throughout the presentation, Dennis Barr made use of PowerPoint slides in order to demonstrate the trailblazing nature of Facing History’s evaluation study. Dennis explained the creation and implementation of the new measurements that the researchers used in this study; communicated the findings that Facing History’s curricula and pedagogy have positive impacts on the efficacy of the teaching and learning of history and the social studies; and discussed the connections between Facing History’s study with other important research in the field of social studies and history education. Dennis concluded his presentation with a fifteen-minute question and answer session. The audience asked questions that allowed Dennis to return to, and emphasize, several important points from the study. Teachers College students showed enthusiasm for the study and commented that they were inspired by the findings because the study proved that teachers can “make a difference” in students’ lives. Event attendees were positive about the nature of the symposium and stated that Dennis expertly matched his presentation style with the type of audience that attended the event.

This event continued to cement Facing History’s relationship with Teachers College in general and the Program in Social Studies in particular. Overall, Dennis Barr brought Facing History’s voice into the world of academic institutions and its ongoing conversations about research methods and evaluation of significant areas of school curriculum.

NOTE: There are several resources available to you for further reading about, and investigation into, the research findings presented at last week’s symposium. For a summary of Facing History’s National Professional Development and Evaluation Project please
click here. To access the text of a more detailed explanation of this study and its importance within the field of history and social studies education research please click here.