Big History Project
(Big History) shows how everything is connected to everything else. It weaves together insights and evidence from so many disciplines into a single, understandable story – insights from astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, anthropology, history, economics and more. It made me wish that I could have taken Big History when I was young because it would have given me a way to think about all of the school work and reading that followed.“ – Bill Gates
Everything has a history. Each person, plant, animal, and object, our planet, and the entire universe. Each history offers valuable insights. Together, they reveal even more. Big history weaves evidence and insights from many scientific and historical disciplines into a single, accessible origin story – one that explores who we are, how we got here, how we are connected to everything around us, and where we may be heading. For an overview of Big History, see David Christian’s TED Talk.
Big History originated as a university-level class curriculum. It has tremendous potential to transform how high school (and middle school) students learn and synthesize history and related subjects if it can be successful deployed in those contexts.
The Big History Project formally began in fall of 2011, with the launch of a small pilot program of 7 schools (5 in the US, 2 in Australia). In 2012, the second phase of the second phase of the project began with approximately 50 schools, and in 2013 the course will be opened up publically for broad use. The course has evolved pedagogically – with a specific focus on supporting the literacy standards of the Common Core. The program’s online presence will evolve as well – with the course site rolling out new Learning Management System-like features (e.g. quiz creation, assignment issuance) to make it easier for teachers to deliver the program, and with opportunities to promote and scale the course to lifelong learners via a public facing, open option.
The Project will develop and iterate curriculum content, design delivery and distribution through the online platform, and engage partners to launch the public availability of the course content. The Project is run by an extremely well-resourced and well-connected organization that is strategically pioneering societal change for a positive future.