What happens when you gather hundreds of Big History Project teachers and enthusiasts in one of the greatest cities on Earth and give them access to the founder of the field and some of the greatest minds in social studies education? A whole lot of learning, a whole lot of fun…and the occasional dinosaur sighting!
Here are some highlights from our week at the NCSS annual conference in San Francisco:
OMG IT’S DAVID CHRISTIAN!
The founder of the field of Big History, in town from Australia, was the hit of the conference. Attendees of David Christian’s keynote session (the title of which included the phrase, “the whole damn thing,” as in, the history of everything) overflowed into the convention center hallways. For a lucky few BHP teachers, the session was preceded by breakfast with the Big History celebrity.
Back from extinction?
A character from Unit 5 of the course broke loose and wreaked temporary havoc on the conference floor. It was all in loving fun. Any guesses as to who was in the dinosaur costume? (Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you a prize if you guess correctly!)
From the horses’ mouths
No better way to learn about BHP than from those who teach it every day. Teachers and administrators from California to Connecticut shared tales of scaffolding instruction in critical thinking and writing, two cornerstones of the BHP course. Oh – and attendees agreed that everything is better under the leadership of University of Michigan historian and educator Bob Bain.
Fun in the booth!
“Where’s booth #320?” may have been the most frequently overheard question on the showroom floor. The BHP booth is always more clubhouse than anything, providing a space for Big History hopefuls to chat with those who’ve earned their stripes and are generous with advice. The “BHP Clubhouse” was treated to more-than-occasional sightings of Bob Bain and David Christian.
At the Big History Project, we firmly believe in the power of social gatherings as a foundation of professional development. After a long day of sessions, BHP teachers of past, present, and future enjoyed mingling and swapping stories of success and challenge in teaching the course.
See you in Chi-town!
A big THANKS to all those we connected with this year at NCSS. If we missed you this year, we hope to see you at next year’s NCSS conference in Chicago! Of course, you always have an open invitation to email email@example.com if you’re interested in talking to someone from the BHP team.