About

Big History examines our past, explains our present, and imagines our future

Big History is a social studies course that spans 13.8 billion years. It weaves insights from many disciplines to form a single story that helps us better understand people, civilizations, and how we are connected to everything around us.

For an overview, see David Christian’s TED Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/david_christian_big_ history.html.

Free, open, and online

The Big History Project is a free, online social studies course for middle- and high-school students. Run the course over a full year or semester, or adapt it to your school’s needs. Use teacher-generated lessons or create your own using the content library. Everything is online, so content is always available, up to date, and easy to download.

Aligned with the Common Core

The Big History Project helps teachers meet Common Core ELA standards from the ground up, starting with the learning outcomes, and including assessment and lesson activities.

How does it work?

In the classroom
If you’re a teacher ready to dive into the course, click Register under Big History in the Classroom , add your profile details, and get started.

Once you’ve registered and logged in, you can gear up to teach the course by clicking Console in the top navigation bar. The teacher console is your home for course management. Click Classroom Setup to add a period and enroll students. You can add students via join-code, or by email invitation. Click the Teacher Resources tab to review the Quick Start Guide, an in-depth course guide, sample course plans, an overview of our standards alignment, and more.

Once your class is set up, you can change the period name, track student progress, view student scores, and perform other administrative tasks.

Lifelong learners
Not a teacher? No problem. We've got a Big History Project for history buffs and other curious minds. Just visit http://www.bighistoryproject.com and click Register under Big History for Anyone, Anytime. Complete your profile, log in, and you’re ready to begin a rewarding journey through the public version of the Big History Project.

Join us!

More than 1,000 teachers are using Big History. Big History teachers are supported by an active community of educators, course contributors, and Big History Project staff, meeting online via the Big History Project website and in person at events around the country. Join us! http://www.bighistoryproject.com.

Who is the Big History Project?

Co-founded by Bill Gates and Professor David Christian, BHP is a joint effort between teachers, scholars, scientists, and their supporters. It is a multi-disciplinary approach to knowledge for learners around the world. In addition to developing a full curriculum for high school students, this course is designed for curious members of the public who are seeking answers to big questions about the history of our Universe and the origin of our species.

FOUNDING PARTNERS

BHP works with a wide range of educators, scientists, writers, curriculum experts, and artists to bring the ideas of Big History to life and provide students of all ages with unique views into different fields of knowledge. These individuals and organizations played a critical role in getting BHP off the ground.

David Christian, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia 

David is a Distinguished Professor of History and Director of the Big History Institute at Macquarie University. David is the father of Big History, and has been at the cutting edge of Big History scholarship and the development of Big History courses. David crafted BHP’s course design and narrative, and is the star of many BHP videos and lectures.

Bob Bain, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 

Bob Bain is Associate Professor of History and Education. Bob has overseen all curriculum design and delivery for the classroom course, with an emphasis on professional development, assessments and standards.

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through pre-eminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future. The University of Michigan School of Education is committed to advancing educational knowledge and improving educational practice, and has provided support to the pedagogical design and implementation of BHP and driven evaluation efforts.

Tracy Sullivan, Macquarie University

Tracy is Education Leader at the Big History Institute. Tracy was on the curriculum development team for BHP, contributing to the pedagogical design of the course. Tracy has overseen implementation in Australian schools and supported the growth of BHP globally.

Pilot Schools & Teachers

The course is co-developed with pilot teachers and schools. All aspects of the course— including core curriculum, content, and assessment strategy—are developed with the input of pilot teachers and school partners.

CONTRIBUTORS

BHP works with a wide range of educators, scientists, writers, curriculum experts, and artists to bring the ideas of Big History to life and provide students of all ages with unique views into different fields of knowledge. These individuals and organizations played a critical role in getting BHP off the ground.

Walter Alvarez
Bob Bain
David Baker
Craig Benjamin
Cynthia Stokes Brown
David Catling
David Christian
Bill Gates
Henry Louis Gates
Larry Gonick
Ursula Goodenough
Emily Graslie
Hank Green
John Green
John Haught
Jacqueline Howard
Sal Khan
Janna Levin
Charles Mann
Tim McKay
Anne McNeil
Anita Ravi
Cathy Renaud
Sanjayan
Kathy Schick
David Shimabukuro
Tamara Shreiner
Peter Stark
Saul Straussman
Nick Toth
John Wallace
Nicole Waguespack

PROGRAM SPONSORSHIP

Bill Gates is providing ongoing program support to establish the Big History Project and prepare it for free, public access.

PUBLIC COURSE WRITING CREDIT

We are grateful to Peter Stark for his contribution to the editorial narrative for the Big History threshold stories.