We're making BIG history here.
The Big History Summer Institute at Dominican University of California is a unique five-day seminar for college and university faculty interested in learning and teaching Big History. The informative and hands-on sessions provide instruction in the content of Big History while focusing on the sharing of pedagogical strategies for conveying that content to students in an interactive and engaging manner. The Institute draws on the expertise of noted faculty: Dominican’s resident Big Historian, Cynthia Brown, author of Big History: From the Big Bang to the Present and winner of the American Book Award; Dominican faculty with notable experience in Big History pedagogy, currently involved in writing Teaching Big History on best practices; and experts in related fields, such as cosmology, religion, art, and philosophy.
Applicants need not have prior experience teaching Big History, only interest in teaching Big History as a survey course, or developing a new course or program around Big History.
The Institute will include interactive sessions, sometimes concurrently, on the following topics:
- Big History pedagogy
- Big History and its place in the curriculum
- Big History texts and resources
- Big History co- and extra-curricular activities
For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Dominican Big History Summer Institute: A Story of Collective Learning
By Mojgan Behmand
A cold Tuesday afternoon in 2009 saw a group of us Dominican faculty come together with an odd mix of enthusiasm and weariness to work on curricular revision. We gathered in Dominican University’s Hunt Room, surrounded by colorful murals of a posh hunt sequence featuring horses and hounds and were well aware of the power of transformation manifested even in the building itself. The summer estate residence of the de Young family—founders of the San Francisco Chronicle and the de Young Museum—had been purchased for $10 by the ever-resourceful Dominican Sisters in 1918 and had served the purposes of education as a residential and assembly hall ever since. Now, in 2009, we were attempting another transformation: a reform of our general education curriculum. Would we rise to the occasion?
Our small sub-group had been specifically tasked with revamping our first-year programming, hence the mix of trepidation and eagerness. We were eager since we recognized the great potential of a six-unit first-year sequence and yet we were disheartened as extensive research of other institutions had shown us the great disparity amongst freshman seminars and first-year programs. Many were skills-based; almost none were foundational. The content options that presented themselves seemed a throwback to the 1980s and ’90s: Western Civilization, Great Books, or World History. All were valuable and wonderful courses and yet ...
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IBHA Members' Newsletter – Volume III, Number 2