Big history, interdisciplinarity and 21st century curriculum: the biggest of pictures

Tracy Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In 2012 the author attended the inaugural International Big History Association conference in the US. This historic event brought together big history scholars, teachers and enthusiasts from across the globe. As she wandered from session to session, the author concluded that no- one could precisely define 'big history', apart from reflecting on excitement at finding their places within this field. This article is based on a paper that the author presented at the conference, along with what she learned whilst engaging with other delegates. The article first tackles the topic, 'What is big history and the Big History Project'? Then the discussion turns to the issue of big history, interdisciplinarity and the 21st learner. The author concludes by outlining the Big History Project in Australia. It is now in its large pilot phase and is being taught in 27 schools across the country.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-60
Number of pages5
JournalTeaching History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • History teaching
  • Global approach
  • Biological sciences
  • Modern history
  • Secondary education
  • Higher education
  • Macquarie University
  • Big History Institute
  • International Big History Association
  • Narara Valley High School (NSW)
  • Interdisciplinary approach
  • Pilot projects
  • Critical thinking
  • World history
  • Student attitudes
  • Knowledge
  • Astronomy
  • Agriculture


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