Bob Bain

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

Bob  Bain, School of Education

In his earlier career as a high school teacher, Bob Bain was a seven-time award winner for excellence in teaching. Now, he focuses on improving the preparation of future high school teachers and on ways to use museums as tools for understanding the past. For example, he has worked with The Henry Ford (formerly The Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village) to enhance students' understanding of museum artifacts.

He earned his PhD from Case Western University with a special concentration in the history of policy toward youth. Before coming to the University of Michigan in 1998, Bain taught high school history and social studies for 26 years in the Cleveland, Ohio area. As a historian, history teacher, and teacher-educator, his research investigates the relationships among history as a disciplinary way of knowing, learning and teaching. Current research projects include an investigation of history-specific pre-service and professional development; a history of the preparation of history teachers; the design and use of history-specific technology for students engaged in historical inquiry; and a study of teaching and learning history in museums and with museum resources.

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., Long Beach Unified Schools, Flint Schools, Cleveland Public Schools). Recent publications include: “‘They Thought the World Was Flat?’ Principles in Teaching High School History” in How Students Learn: History, Math and Science in the Classroom (Washington: National Academy Press, 2005), and “Rounding Up Unusual Suspects: Facing Authority Hidden in the History Classroom” in Teachers College Record (2006). He is coediting a book funded through the National History Center on history education policy. In 2000, the Carnegie Foundation selected him as a Carnegie Scholar in the Carnegie Academy of Teaching and Learning and, recently, the Organization of American Historians chose him as one of its Distinguished Lecturers. 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.

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




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


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Mailbox 1302