Since the 2011-2012 school year, Dr. Ronald Ferguson, Senior Lecturer in Education and Public Policy at the Harvard Graduate School and the Harvard Kennedy School has evaluated StoryCorpsU. The 2011-2012 evaluation found, based on observations, interviews, and survey responses from teachers and students, that StoryCorpsU enhanced the school experience for both students and teachers.
- Most teachers reported their students’ speaking and listening skills had improved; the majority of the students also reported that their speaking and listening skills had improved.
- Students reported increased self-awareness and social awareness.
- Students expressed greater ambition and motivation to succeed.
- Teachers reported they knew their students better (a measure of school connectedness) and had stronger beliefs about what constitutes effective teaching and learning.
- Administrators observed enhanced school relationships between teachers and students, among students, and with parents.
Quotes from the evaluation:
I am a lot more aware that students need to talk about themselves and things that are important to them to make learning meaningful! – SCU Teacher
I am more aware about listening to other people and being able to speak up and have an open mind. – SCU Student
They were really able to connect to the lessons, especially the audio/visual clips. – SCU Teacher
I can now speak in front of class without being scared. – SCU Student
I think the opportunity to safely learn from one another about each other is an invaluable experience. – SCU Teacher
I believe SCU made me into a better listener, a concerned person, and made me closer to my classmates and teachers. – SCU Student
I think it encouraged them to look at their own personal experiences more and to realize the impact those experiences have had on them; for some just speaking more orally really helped them gain confidence. – SCU Teacher
I think more about myself and what I want to do after college and who I’ll be. – SCU Student
I particularly liked getting to know the students. StoryCorps made me able to see them as more than just students to me. – SCU Teacher
Last month, StoryCorps traveled to the Philadelphia Folklore Project to record the stories of a group of students who were victims of targeted attacks.