Teaching Big History
Richard B. Simon, Mojgan Behmand, and Thomas Burke
Big History is a new field on a grand scale: it tells the story of the universe over time through a diverse range of disciplines that spans cosmology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and archaeology, thereby reconciling traditional human history with environmental geography and natural history.
Weaving the myriad threads of evidence-based human knowledge into a master narrative that stretches from the beginning of the universe to the present, the Big History framework helps students make sense of their studies in all disciplines by illuminating the structures that underlie the universe and the connections among them.
Teaching Big History is a powerful analytic and pedagogical resource, and serves as a comprehensive guide for teaching Big History, as well for sharing ideas about the subject and planning a curriculum around it. Readers are also given helpful advice about the administrative and organizational challenges of instituting a general education program constructed around Big History. The book includes teaching materials, examples, and detailed sample exercises.
This book is also an engaging first-hand account of how a group of professors built an entire Big History general education curriculum for first-year students, demonstrating how this thoughtful integration of disciplines exemplifies liberal education at its best and illustrating how teaching and learning this incredible story can be transformative for professors and students alike.
University of California Press
Astrophysics and Astronomy | Earth Sciences | Higher Education | History | Teacher Education and Professional Development
Simon, Richard B.; Behmand, Mojgan; Burke, Thomas; Quaedackers, Esther; Kim, Seohyung; Bower, Kiowa; Wolfe, Neal; Cunningham, James B.; Taylor, Cynthia; Anderson, Martin; May, J. Daniel; Novak, Philip; Daunt, Debbie; Castner, Jaime; Annis, Ethan; Gilbert, Amy E.; Reid, Anne; Roybal, Suzanne; Schut, Alan; Brown, Cynthia; and Stelmach, Harlan, "Teaching Big History" (2014). Faculty Authored Books and Book Contributions. 74.