Bill Gates wants your kids to learn history this way — and he’s paying to get it into schools

Sep 12, 2014 by

Bill Gates can’t seem to stop getting big ideas about public education — and then using part of his fortune to see them implemented.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has spent billions of dollars on various initiatives that Gates thought would help improve public education, including a small schools initiative that he abandoned when he didn’t get the results he wanted; pilot programs in creating controversial teacher evaluation systems linked to student standardized test scores; and promotion of the Common Core State Standards. The foundation has even funded an effort by the Council of Chief State School Officers to evaluate student work for things like creativity.

Now, this illuminating article in the New York Times Magazine, titled “So Bill Gates Has This Idea for a History Class…,” explains how Gates stumbled onto a specific DVD history course and decided that “everybody” should watch it. Gates, the article says, found the Teaching Company’s “Great Courses” series called “Big History.” It’s by David Christian, an Australian professor who is known for a TED talk on the history of the universe (see video below) and who says he was “influenced by the Annales School, a group of early-20th-century French historians who insisted that history be explored on multiple scales of time and space.” His history course melds different disciplines into explaining history.

via Bill Gates wants your kids to learn history this way — and he’s paying to get it into schools – The Washington Post.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    Teacher with a Brain

    Big History is an exciting course, and is being taught at universities. I approve of the course, however I believe it might best be taught as an elective, as it is multi-disciplinary and lacks the depth of the more focused courses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.