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Students who went on a tour of Crystal Bridges experience a 6 percent of a standard deviation increase in historical empathy. Among rural students, the benefit is much larger, a 15 percent of a standard deviation gain. We can illustrate this benefit by focusing on one of the items in the historical empathy scale. When asked to agree or disagree with the statement, “I have a good understanding of how early Americans thought and felt,” 70 percent of the treatment-group students express agreement compared to 66 percent of the control group. Among rural participants, 69 percent of the treatment-group students agree with this statement compared to 62 percent of the control group. The fact that Crystal Bridges features art from different periods in American history may have helped produce these gains in historical empathy.
Any of the essays in From Darkness to Light , published by Fairview Press , might be used in the classroom to motivate thought-provoking discussions about issues that many teens confront. Teachers might use the essays to spur discussion about why some teens seem to have the ability to face and overcome life's major hurdles -- and why others don't.. Discussions can help teens identify their own strengths, help them develop resiliency -- the ability to bounce back, and inspire them work toward their goals and dreams.