Back to All Posts

GH One of Only Six Schools to Teach Big History in Fall

The big news in the history department is Big History!

Next fall, Greenhills will be one of only six high schools in the country teaching Big History, an innovative, technology-rich and problem-based project started by Bill Gates and Professor David Christian.

“We are really excited about Big History coming to Greenhills,” says history department chair Tammy Shreiner. “It incorporates all we know about the past from multiple disciplines – biology, sociology, anthropology, geology, etc. – and fits it all together to form one coherent story. It’s just a fascinating way to approach history.”

Greenhills was selected to be one of the pilot schools because of Shreiner’s connection to her former graduate advisor Bob Bain, associate professor of educational studies and history at U-M who was tapped by the Big History project to be its academic advisor.

Earlier this spring Shreiner and the other pilot teachers met in Seattle (in Bill Gates’ office, in fact!) to collaborate on the Big History curriculum, still a work in progress. They will meet again in June on the U-M campus, where a big focus will be on developing a research component to the course. Throughout the year data will be collected and analyzed to see how well the course is working – a practice rarely (if ever) seen in education.

“This is a very cool part of the project and almost as exciting as Big History itself,” says Shreiner.  “It shows that they really want this to be a successful curriculum.”
This fall Big History will be offered to Greenhills 10th-12th graders, with the hope of including 9th graders the following year. In addition to Michigan (Greenhills and Northville Public Schools), the pilot schools hail from Washington, Massachusetts and California. The goal is for 30 schools to teach Big History in 2012-13.

Click here to watch Bill Gates talk about Big History.

Saturday, April 24
Open to anyone ages 16 and up. Limited quantities available.
Greenhills is closed for mid-winter break and will return on Tuesday, Feb. 22.