Bob Bain

Associate Professor, School of Education; Associate Professor, Department of History, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Bob  Bain, School of Education

Bob Bain is associate professor of Educational Studies and associate professor in the Department of History. He also serves as a faculty associate in the university’s Museum Studies Program and is the director of the International Institutes and School of Education’s World History and Literature Initiative. He earned his PhD in history with a special concentration in the history of policy toward youth. Before coming to the University of Michigan in 1998, he taught high school history and social studies for 26 years in the Cleveland, Ohio area, where he was a seven-time award winner for excellence in teaching.

Bain teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in history, history education, teacher education and foundations of education. His interests revolve around the intersection between disciplinary ways of knowing social science disciplines and the teaching and learning those disciplines in a wide range of contexts, including classrooms, museums, online and in every day experiences. His current research centers around distinctive approaches to “doing” and to “teaching” history across multiple scales of time and space, work that has emerged from his years teaching world history and more recently as the faculty lead on the Big History Project. In addition, he serves as consultant to the Historic Ford Estates outreach to teachers. In work focused on teacher learning, Bain and colleague Elizabeth Birr Moje developed Teaching and Learning the Disciplines through Clinical Practice Rounds, an approach to learning to teach that stresses discipline-based adolescent literacy teacher education. In 2010, the Provost of the University of Michigan awarded Bain and Moje the Teaching Innovation Prize for the project.

Bain has worked on history and social science education projects at the national level (e.g., for the American Historical Association, National History Center, College Board, National Assessment Governing Board), the state level (e.g., chair of Michigan’s Social Studies Content Expectations Committee), and the local level (e.g., Historic Ford Estates, Long Beach Unified Schools, Flint Schools, Cleveland Public Schools). Between 2010 and 2014, he served as the chair of the Secondary Teacher Education program.

Bain has received awards for teaching at both the high school and university levels, including the College Educator of the Year Award from the Michigan Council of Social Studies in both 2008 and 2011. In 2000, the Carnegie Foundation selected him as a Carnegie Scholar in the Carnegie Academy of Teaching and Learning and he continues as one of the Organization of American Historians’ Distinguished Lecturers.

Bain teaches courses in the following program(s):
Teaching and Teacher Education
Educational Foundations and Policy
Secondary Teacher Education
Secondary Teacher Education (Secondary MAC)




Research Affiliations


2/1/2013 - 9/1/2014 Nesting World History Instruction for Future Faculty, Secondary Teachers and Students: A Project to Prepare Teachers of World History at Multiple Levels
Granting Agency: British Council

1/1/2011 - 8/31/2013 The Big History Project
Granting Agency: Big History Project, LLC

2/1/2005 - 1/1/2008 Advancing Adolescent Literacy Learning in the Disciplines
Granting Agency: Carnegie Corporation

2/1/1999 - 1/1/2003 Expanding the Primary Sources Network
Granting Agency: Office of Educational Research and Improvement/Department of Education

2/3/1999 - 1/10/2002 Expanding the Primary Sources Network
Granting Agency: Office of Educational Research and Improvement/Department of Education

Courses & Syllabi

Term Catalogue Course Description Syllabus
Fall 2010 EDUC 790. Foundations of Schooling EDUC 790. Social Foundations of Schooling

Fall 2018 EDUC 661. History of Postsecondary Education Promoted course. Read description »


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