Professional Development

Quick links


What is Big History, Big History Project and the Big History Institute?


Presented by Tracy Sullivan, Education Leader at the Big History Institute

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Big History Teacher Training: Hot Seat video series


Teaching Australian Curriculum Geography, Science & History in Big History: Unit 10 The Future

Presented by Chloe Simons, Tasmanian eLearning Programs (TAS)

In this Hot Seat video, Chloe Simons focuses on approaches to offering Big History across History, Geography and Science in the Australian Curriculum in Year 10. The example given in this video is approaches to teaching the last unit of the Big History project course 'The Future'.  


Teaching outside of your subject area and creating a pathway to History, Politics and Philosophy with the Big History Project

Presented by Satoshi Sanada, Footscray City College (VIC)

In this Hot Seat video, Satoshi Sanada reflects on the experience of teaching Big History without a science background and the interdisciplinary nature of Big History. Satoshi explores how he uses Big History Project to promote meaningful class discussion and the practicalities of structuring the course to meet the school's priorities.


Project based learning in Big History and the mixed-ability classroom

Presented by Natalie Karazinov, Narara Valley High School (NSW)

In this Hot Seat video, Natalie Karazinov talks about her experiences of using project based learning in the mixed-ability Big History classroom. Natalie provides practical ideas, strategies and examples based on Big History Project resources from implementation in the classroom.


Assessing Big History: Finding a balance

Presented by Alana Johnston & Kira Sampson, Somerville House (QLD)

In this Hot Seat Video, Kira Sampson and Alana Johnston discuss the approaches to assessing Big History when teaching across the Australian Curriculum in Science, History and Geography. Alana and Kira provide practical examples of assessment schedules and models discussing issues of timing, assessment design and selection to meet students and broader school assessment scheduling needs.


Teaching the Science in Big History as a History teacher and scaffolding deep thinking experiences

Presented by Sarah Trotter, Redlands (NSW)

In this Hot Seat video, Sarah Trotter discusses approaches to scaffolding key skills in Big History that will help you move beyond discussion explaining how to use the Big History Project resources to build lessons that generate deep thinking in students, while teaching outside her subject area. Sarah provides practical examples of strategies and models she has used with her students to engage students with Big History Project content and develop Big History essential skills.

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Teachers on teaching Big History


Jillian Turner, Narrabeen Sports High School, New South Wales


Narinder Parmar, Smiths Hill High School, New South Wales


Roxanne Pritchard, Taroona High School, Tasmania


Chris Dunn, Rangitoto College, Auckland, New Zealand


Chloe Simons, eLearning Programs, Curriculum Services, Tasmania


Khalil Kay, Hunter School of Performing Arts, New South Wales

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Big History Project online collaboration


Presented by Chloe Simons (Curriculum Services - Tasmanian Department of Education) and Roxanne Pritchard (Taroona High School)

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Teaching Big History webinars

BHP logo

BHP Webinar 1: Welcome to Big History

Hints & Tips for teaching outside your subject area in Big History
Lesson / activity share focus: units 1 & 2

View the recording for this webinar

BHP logo

BHP Webinar 2: Little Big History

Not just a project: a vehicle to navigate content, boost engagement & scaffold critical thinking in Big History
Lesson / activity share focus: units 3 & 4

View the recording for this webinar
View student example of Little Big History
View the chat transcript

Principals Australia Institute

PAI Webinar: Big History

Hosted by Principals Australia Institute
Presented by Professor David Christian and Tracy Sullivan

With insights from current Australian Big History classrooms, this webinar will focus on the following questions:

  • What is Big History?
  • What is the Big History Project?
  • How does it sit within the pedagogical framework for learning?
  • How can you and your school get involved?

View the recording from this webinar

Webinars - DEC logo

SyllabusPLUS Science professional learning

Hosted by the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC)
Presented by Tracy Sullivan

The Big History Institute, Macquarie University and the DEC have partnered to present an Adobe Connect webinar, showcasing the Big History Project as an interdisciplinary vehicle for learning and teaching. This session highlights course site materials, current and possible school implementation models, and alignments to the Science and History syllabi.

View the recording for this webinar

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The Future of Education 2013 Conference videos

The inaugural Big History and the Future of Education conference was a two-day event designed to bring together educators, scholars and policy makers, along with multimedia and technology innovators, to discuss the potential for Big History to be a major turning point in modern education. 

On the second day of the conference, practicing Big History teachers provided insight into pedagogies, activities and strategies to engage students and improve learning outcomes based on the Big History narrative. 



Presented by Associate Professor Bob Bain, Department of History and the Department of Educational Studies, University of Michigan

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Teaching Thresholds 1 - 3

Presented by Chloe Simons (Tasmanian eLearning Programs) and Sarah Trotter (SCECGS Redlands).

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Teaching Thresholds 4 - 6

Presented by Sue Burvill-Shaw (St Aidan's Anglican Girls School) and Amanda Wriedt (The Nossal High School).

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Teaching Thresholds 7 & 8

Presented by Professor David Christian and Natalie Karazinov (Narara Valley High School).

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Teaching Reflections


Teaching Big History at Somerville House

Kira Sampson is a History teacher at Somerville House. A specialist in Modern History, she teaches Years 8 to 12. Alana Johnston is a teacher of Science and Biology, with degrees in both Secondary Education and Applied Science. She has been teaching for 6 years at Somerville House, in both the Middle and Senior Schools. 

In this article, Kira and Alana write about their experiences of teaching Big History at their school.

Download the article

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Other resources

Connecting kids to the cosmos

The Big History Project: Bob Bain at TEDxGrandRapids

Bob Bain is an award-winning associate professor at the University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor with joint appointments in the history, educational studies, and museum studies departments. Bain is also chair of the university's secondary teacher education program and a faculty lead for the Big History Project, an international research and design group that has developed an online curriculum, assessments and professional development to enable high school students to study 13.82 billion years of cosmic history -- from the Big Bang to the Future.

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