Teaching Big History

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Richard B. Simon, Mojgan Behmand, Thomas Burke
Univ of California Press, Dec 23, 2014 - History - 426 pages
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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.
 

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Contents

the case for big history
9
contents
14
Big History and the Goals of Liberal
21
Collective Learning
27
Big History course or talk about it with others outside of class
47
Teaching Complexity in a Big History
77
The Big Bang
91
The Formation
109
Threshold 9? Teaching Possible Futures
232
Reflective Writing in the Big History
261
Activities for Multiple Thresholds
275
Fostering
287
A Little Big History of Big History
296
big history and its implications
309
Teaching Big History or Teaching about
318
The Case for
336

Project
112
Heavier Chemical
120
The Formation
135
The Evolution
149
The Agrarian
201
Modernity
215
Conclusion
343
contents
361
illustrations
362
List of Contributors
401
Index 000
407
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Richard B. Simon is Adjunct Professor of English at Dominican University of California, instructor of English at City College of San Francisco, and Contributing Editor at Relix magazine.

Mojgan Behmand is Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Dominican University of California. She is also Associate Professor of English and former Director of General Education and First Year Experience.

Thomas Burke is Assistant Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Dominican University of California.

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