Saturday, September 6, 2014

Big History Project & Putting Learning in Context

Bill Gates seems to like getting involved in the way we are teaching our students.  He has helped bank roll the Khan Academy, Common Core and now, from his personal money (as opposed to the Gates Foundation), he is helping to promote a connected type of learning called the Big History Project.  It is interesting to me as it is similar to the project I have been working on called ContextU (which has our Civil War unit up and in a few days will have our American Revolution up as well). The central thesis of both is that we do not live in a fish tank and that one thing is connected to others (as is becoming more and more obvious in our modern world).  The Big History project pulls back and keeps looking at a timeline where as ContextU also adds in location, cause and effect and group connectivity.

With Bill Gates' funding the Big History Project has spread to a number of schools in the US as you can see from this article.  You can go to the Big History Project and see six units of the course.  To say the least I am always intrigued with a better way of teaching and since I have long believed that we all learn best when we can connect our subject matter to what we already know, I am curious about this course which has now even started to replace some schools' World History courses.  

1 comment:

Mr. Dave Keller said...

This project brings to mind the "Big Era" History from History for us all. I'd love to hear what people think of Big Era vs. Big History. They are both big changes to the way I've always taught.