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.