k-12 summer institute

The Little Ice Age

Summer Institute for k-12 Teachers

June 21 - 25, 2021

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (PDT) each day via Zoom

What role can humanities and social science classes play in addressing modern climate change?

Understanding and addressing climate change is a truly interdisciplinary undertaking. The sciences can teach students to investigate the mechanisms that cause climate change and set them on the road to devising technological solutions. But if we want to understand how climate change is...

Architecture: Space, Power, and Community

Summer Institute for k-12 Teachers

June 25 - 27, 2018

The 2018 Summer Institute for k-12 teachers will explore the interplay between built spaces, individuals, communities, and institutions. Our program will begin with recent research into how the human brain interacts with physical spaces. From there, participants will learn about a global sampling of built environments, considering spaces from perspectives such as visual arts, religious traditions, anthropology, and building technologies.

Teachers who wish to receive professional...

Body & Identity

Summer Institute for k-12 Teachers

June 26 - 28, 2019

California's 2011 FAIR Education Act changed the state's education code to include the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful portrayal of the contributions and experiences of people with disabilities and people in the LGBT community in California and United States history and social studies courses. The 2019 ORIAS Summer Institute for k-12 teachers seeks to provide a global context within which to consider these topics.

Body & Identity will explore disability and...

Visible Power - Art in National Life

Art production for public display has been a component of every historical era. This institute explored ways visual arts can be interpreted and used to teach major themes in World History. Participants explored numerous interpretations of artworks, learning how to analyze pieces as:

expressions of identity, tools for communicating abstract political or religious ideas, means of persuasion, measures of social status, commodities, and visual maps of change over time. Presentation Summaries

Written by Timothy Doran and Simon Grote

Art and...

Causes and Consequences of Imperialism

Empire building has been a prominent thread in human history since ancient times. Even in the largely de-colonized modern world, legacies of 19th century imperialism continue to profoundly shape individual identity and international relations across the globe. The 2010 K-12 and community college educators joined international area scholars in a week-long exploration of the causes, tools, and legacies of imperialism in world history. A program of lectures, discussions and resource review considered histories of imperialism in Africa, Asia, India, Latin America, the Middle East, and...

The Role of Technology in Shaping Human History

How have societies historically viewed the role of information technology from cuneiform tablets to social media? What conditions fostered innovation in industrial and military technology and what were the social consequences? Why did technological innovations happen in one place and not another? And what is the role of technology in shaping a globalized world?

This summer institute explored the effects of technology on the development of and interaction between human societies.

Presentation Summaries


Absent Voices - Everyday Life in World History

History courses are peopled with the prestigious, the wealthy, the powerful. What about the vast majority of humanity - women, people living outside the urban centers, everyday workers - whose daily lives are mostly absent from the narrative we often teach? The 2011 Summer Institute focused on the experience of life for common people in world history and the very real challenges scholars and teachers face in studying these voices, which are often absent from document archives.

Presentation Summaries


Foodways in World History

How has the history of human society been driven by food and agriculture? Watch the full set of lectures from this Summer Institute.

The Role of Travelers in World History

Travelers’ tales are older than writing itself and have lost little of their popularity over time. For historians, travelers offer unique insights into cross-cultural exchange, as well as interpretive challenges.

This armchair journey with area scholars considered the role travelers have played in understanding history from ancient Rome to modern Pakistan. A panel of k-12 educators also shared ways this theme could be employed to engage students.

Presentation Summaries

Written by Stephen Pitcher


The World Through Literature

July 20 - 22, 2015

Significant stories have been traded and transformed along trade routes as long as people have gathered together — exploring the human condition, speculating on “other” peoples, and defining social history. The 2015 Summer Institute focused on literary traditions....