Bill Bigelow

Bill Bigelow

Bill Bigelow taught high school social studies in Portland, Oregon for almost 30 years. He is the curriculum editor of Rethinking Schools and the co-director of the Zinn Education Project. This project offers free materials to teach people’s history and an “If We Knew Our History” article series. Bigelow is author or co-editor of numerous books, including A People’s History for the Classroom and The Line Between Us: Teaching About the Border and Mexican Immigration, and most recently, A People's Curriculum for the Earth: Teaching Climate Change and the Environmental Crisis.

Articles by this author

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016 - 2:30pm
Support Indigenous Rights: Abolish Columbus Day
The movement to abolish Columbus Day and to establish in its place Indigenous Peoples Day continues to gather strength, as every month new school districts and colleges take action. This campaign has been given new momentum as Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas assert their treaty and human...
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 11:30am
Nation’s Largest Teachers Union Endorses Teaching 'Climate Justice'
In May, the Portland, Oregon school board passed the country’s first comprehensive “climate justice” resolution. The school board voted unanimously to “abandon the use of any adopted text material that is found to express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis or its root in human...
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Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 8:00am
The Real Irish-American Story Not Taught in Schools
“Wear green on St. Patrick’s Day or get pinched.” That pretty much sums up the Irish-American “curriculum” that I learned when I was in school. Yes, I recall a nod to the so-called Potato Famine, but it was mentioned only in passing. Sadly, today’s high school textbooks continue to largely ignore...
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Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 8:00am
Time to Abolish Columbus Day
Once again this year many schools will pause to commemorate Christopher Columbus. Given everything we know about who Columbus was and what he launched in the Americas, this needs to stop. Columbus initiated the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in early February 1494, first sending several dozen enslaved...
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 1:30pm
The Real Irish-American Story Not Taught in Schools
“Wear green on St. Patrick’s Day or get pinched.” That pretty much sums up the Irish-American “curriculum” that I learned when I was in school. Yes, I recall a nod to the so-called Potato Famine, but it was mentioned only in passing. Sadly, today’s high school textbooks continue to largely ignore...
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015 - 6:30am
Five Years After: Long Live Howard Zinn
Today—Jan. 27—marks five years since the death of the great historian and activist Howard Zinn . Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what Howard would say about something—the growth of the climate justice movement, #BlackLivesMatter, the new Selma film, the killings at the Charlie Hebdo offices...
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Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 9:30am
The Koch Brothers Sneak into School
This month in Boston, thousands of teachers will gather for the annual National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) conference. Two non-teachers will be there, too: Charles and David Koch, the notorious right-wing billionaires. Well, the Kochs won’t be there in person, but they will be...
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Sunday, March 16, 2014 - 10:05am
The Real Irish American Story Not Taught in Schools
“Wear green on St. Patrick’s Day or get pinched.” That pretty much sums up the Irish-American “curriculum” that I learned when I was in school.
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Monday, March 10, 2014 - 7:46am
This Is What Happened When Scholastic Tried to Bring Pro-Coal Propaganda to School
While developing activities on coal and the climate crisis in 2011 for Rethinking Schools magazine, I ran across a curriculum, The United States of Energy, from Scholastic, the venerable education publisher.
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Friday, December 20, 2013 - 2:24pm
Teaching the Terrifying Math of Climate Change
Every now and then an article comes along that takes such a novel approach to an issue, I feel like I'm seeing something with new eyes.
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