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Bob Bain

Chair of the Secondary Educator Preparation Program; Associate Professor, Marsal Family School of Education; By Courtesy Associate Professor, Department of History, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts


(734) 615-0585


Room 4118
Mailbox 1302
610 E. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1259

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.


Number Course Name Location Days
EDUC 790
Foundations of Schooling

Offers an integrated study of the psychological, social, philosophical, historical, and curricular bases of education through an examination of a small number of issues or themes of profound and lasting importance in educational studies. Graduate course required of all new Educational Studies doctoral students. Should be taken early in the student’s program.

EDUC 661
History of Postsecondary Education

Prerequisites: Graduate standing
Reviews the history and development of higher and continuing education in the United States, with special attention to forces that have shaped its development; examines the history of critical philosophical debates about and issues concerning the nature and role of higher and continuing education.


Award Start Date
Sep 03, 2019
Award End Date
Jun 30, 2020