The fundamental premises of teaching history at the college level is to enable students to understand some portion of past human experience, to connect that experience to their lives, and to equip students with the tools to assess historical evidence throughout their lives. Changes in the nature, focus, and preparation of college students, educational technology, pedagogical approaches, and college curricular requirements mean that existing formats, course structures, and specific historical materials need to be re-examined and adapted into this new environment.
History for the 21st Century was established by Trevor Getz and Steve Harris in 2019, with financial support from the Agentives Fund, a private foundation committed to bold changes in education. We kicked-off our work with a conference in San Francisco, which 20+ leaders in college history teaching and world history got together to see if there were some better ways to help instructors help students understand and use history.
Since then, Jesse Spohnholz has taken over as director, though Getz and Harris are still on the team. Spohnholz has led a redesign of the materials and commissioned a new set of teaching materials.
Since December 2021, the History for the 21st Century project has also moved its institutional home to the World History Association, whose members share its commitment to supporting quality history education to all faculty and students.
In 2022, Brenna Miller joined the team as Assistant Director, working to design, test, and publish new teaching modules.
Over the long-term, we look forward to becoming a core resource for college history instructors in both world and US history.
Jesse Spohnholz, Washington State University
Brenna Miller, Washington State University
Shane Carter, ORIAS, at University of California, Berkeley
Trevor Getz, San Francisco State University (founding co-director)
Steve Harris, San Francisco State University (founding co-director)
Molly Warsh, University of Pittsburgh
Urmi Willoughby, Pitzer College