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Bill Gates' Favorite History Courses Now Available to Schools Nationwide

An Australian professor named David Christian taught a DVD course called "Big History." Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, just happened to be one of the viewers of the Big History videos and he loved the content so much that he's pushed to include Big History-inspired multimedia courses throughout high schools across the country, a recent New York Times Magazine article reported.

Gates' wish is now a reality. The courses for American high schoolers created by Christian teach history melded with biology, chemistry and astronomy along with other subjects. Gates' staff helped Christian created a website that functions as an "electronic textbook." The content is aligned to the Common Core standards. The site, Big History Project, is also open to the public.

Some educators and education policy experts are wary of Gates' pet project, however.

Diane Ravitch, an education historian at New York University who has been a vocal critic of Gates, put even it more starkly: “When I think about history, I think about different perspectives, clashing points of view. I wonder how Bill Gates would treat the robber barons. I wonder how Bill Gates would deal with issues of extremes of wealth and poverty.” (The Big History Project doesn’t mention robber barons, but it does briefly address unequal distribution of resources.) Ravitch continued: “It begins to be a question of: Is this Bill Gates’s history? And should it be labeled ‘Bill Gates’s History’? Because Bill Gates’s history would be very different from somebody else’s who wasn’t worth $50-60 billion.” (Gates’s estimated net worth is approximately $80 billion.)"

Read the full story.

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