Upper School


The Ellis History Department is transforming the ways in which students learn about the past as they become engaged global citizens and leaders.

In the junior year, students take on the roles of historians, using Pittsburgh as their laboratory to conduct non-traditional primary research in community archives and museums. Whether participating in a simulated archaeological dig or a 17th Century European witchcraft trial, Ellis history classrooms are innovative and emphasize active problem-based learning, interdisciplinary approaches, and collaboration. At all levels, students employ digital media and tools to enhance the teaching and understanding of history: the ninth grade web-based Uluburun shipwreck project allows students to uncover the global trade routes of the ancient world, and a faculty-curated online historical exhibit on Soviet propaganda introduces students to the weapons of mass persuasion of dictatorships. In all courses, students develop advanced skills such as critical thinking, research, analysis, and communication as well as a deep understanding of diverse perspectives in order to successfully negotiate and master the complexities of the modern interconnected world.

Upper School History News

List of 4 news stories.

  • Dr. Susan Corbesero, Upper School History teacher and Global Initiatives Coordinator

    Global Initiatives at Ellis

    At The Ellis School, city, state, and even country lines do not limit the learning opportunities offered to our students. Global education has become an important addition to our curriculum across the Lower, Middle, and Upper School divisions.
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  • Dr. Catherine Haggerty

    Global Focus: India course welcomes guest speaker

    Over the past academic year, Ellis shined its global spotlight on India, a country defined by its diversity, both past and present. A campus-wide series of presentations, performances, and programming at Ellis focused on India in order to provide our students and community with an opportunity to more deeply explore the culture and history of the featured region and its relation to the rest of the world. With this global focus, Ellis aims to highlight and celebrate the role of India in our school community, in our city, and in the world.
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  • Dr. Susan Corbesero, Chair, History Department; Coordinator, Global Initiatives

    Ellis teacher presents at Leadership Institute

    Dr. Susan Corbesero, Head of Global Initiatives at The Ellis School, was one of a select group of educators invited to present to a small group of foreign dignitaries, government officials and higher education administrators at a Leadership Institute sponsored by the U.S. State Department, EducationUSA, and the Institute of International Education. Dr. Corbesero was asked to speak about Ellis’ signature global programming – innovative curriculum, cross-cultural initiatives and experiential learning with a decidedly global focus.
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  • Global Cultures in Pittsburgh

    “The trip to the Global Switchboard totally changed the way that I view Pittsburgh. I had no idea that we had almost totally isolated cultures throughout the city,” declared Eleanor Yaruss '17. On December 9, juniors in Dr. Corbesero’s Global Leadership by Design course participated in a unique event to learn more about the experiences and challenges faced by the immigrant and refugee communities in the region.
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Grade 9 Archaelogical Dig

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