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Facing History and Ourselves

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Facing History and Ourselves brings over thirty years of recognized quality and expertise to the effort of promoting civic engagement in schools by supporting teachers with curriculum, resources and methodology. This internationally recognized educational organization uses an in-depth study of history and the present, literature and science, to help schools teach about the dangers of indifference and the value of civility. Facing History uses timely and relevant resources of today and yesterday to create a “living” curriculum that prepares students for participation in a democratic society. Through this curriculum, students gain multiple perspectives while making informed choices and constantly asking, What do I want to do with my voice?What kind of a world do I want to live in, and how can I make it happen? Facing History’s curriculum is structured to support and increase literacy skills for all students; furthermore, students who have participated in Facing History’s classes demonstrate heightened social concern and increased sensitivity to the plight of others.

Facing History’s effectiveness has been demonstrated in more than 90 studies by independent researchers and Facing History evaluators.  Our most recent study of 76 schools in eight cities in the U.S., conducted by independent evaluators, establishes that Facing History’s professional development, follow-up coaching, and print and online resources provide teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to be more effective.  Evidence showed that Facing History educators increased and sustained their classroom engagement and growth over the two years of the study.  Students demonstrated a greater capacity to analyze history and contemporary events, to interpret evidence, and analyze what leads people to make ethical choices.  And, the study established that students are better able to think critically about cause and effect.  

Studies of the impact on students on FHAO programs documents: greater engagement in learning; increased historical understanding, socio-moral development, and civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions; and reduced racist attitudes and an increased ability to recognize racism, anti-Semitism, and other forms bigotry in themselves and others.  

Los Angeles Superior Court

The Teen Court program at SJLA offers a convicted juvenile offender restorative justice and the incentive of having no record of a criminal conviction if the sentence imposed is completed within a six month period.  Our students serve as jurors on these cases, decide guilt and innocence, and if guilty provide a sentence.  If the juvenile offender fails to comply with the conditions of informal probation for the entire six month period, the offender is transferred back into the traditional juvenile justice system for adjudication.  This informal probation, early intervention program is authorized by Welfare and Institutions Code Sections 236 and 654.