The Teaching History Conference

The Teaching History Conference began in 2015 as a way to bring together practitioners and scholars across the K-16 continuum to discuss the challenges and opportunities faced by history educators at all levels. This community includes teaching and learning environments beyond the classroom such as museums, digital platforms, and any public space in which history education happens. One of our core values is to create a space in which K-12 teachers, university and college faculty, graduate students, teacher educators, education researchers, and history practitioners from a range of contexts can learn from each other while exploring shared problems of practice.

AHA’s Executive Director Jim Grossman, who participated in both the 2015 and 2017 flagship conferences, noted how “the conference brought together a distinctive mix of people who teach history in various contexts, and who think about teaching history. We spent two days trading ideas and discussing how those ideas relate to actual practices.”

Flagship conferences are planned by a Conference Planning Team, which includes both K–12 and university educators, in consultation with the AHA and the California History–Social Science Project.

The 4th Biennial Teaching History Conference: Davis, CA, 2021

The next flagship conference will be held at the University of California, Davis, on May 7-8 2021.

The 2021 conference, “Challenges of Teaching and Learning History: Issues of Pedagogy and Content” focuses on “teaching hard history” and asking the question: How can conversations across the K–16 continuum and beyond help us more effectively address pedagogical challenges and contested or controversial histories? The Call for Proposals is available now, and proposals are due April 30, 2020. To access the Call for Proposals and more information about the conference, visit the conference website.

Interested in hosting a future flagship conference? Email!

Affiliated Conferences

The first affiliated conference was held in February 2018 at Midwestern State University in Wichita, Texas. Whitney Snow, Professor of History at MSU, organized “Teaching History in the 21st Century” after attending the 2017 Teaching History Conference at UC Berkeley. This affiliated conference featured keynote addresses from Ron Tyler, former Director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and Anne Hyde, Professor of History at the University of Oklahoma.

Past Flagship Conferences

About the Conference

History of the Teaching Conference

The Teaching History Conference began in 2015, when more than 150 educators and scholars met for the first flagship conference in Berkeley, California. Over the course of two days, this unprecedented group of K–12 teachers, university and college professors, graduate students,  education researchers, and leaders in the non profit education sector discussed the unique challenges and opportunities faced by history educators at all levels. The conference included keynote addresses from Sam Wineburg of Stanford University and Bruce VanSledright of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a special session and discussion by Bob Bain of the University of Michigan. The conference was organized by Professor Simo Mikkonen of the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, Rachel Reinhard and the staff of the UC Berkeley History–Social Science Project, and Natalie Mendoza and Sarah Gold McBride, co-founders of the UC Berkeley History Graduate Student Pedagogy Group.

Since this initial gathering in 2015, the Teaching History Conference has grown from a biennial meeting to a community of practice that includes hundreds of history educators from across the world.

Conference Planning Team

Executive Committee

Sarah Gold McBride, Ph.D. | Lecturer of American Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Natalie Mendoza, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor of History, University of Colorado Boulder
Rachel Reinhard, Ph.D. | Director, UC Berkeley History–Social Science Project

Host Committee, 2021 Flagship Conference

Stacey Greer, M.A. | Director, History Project at UC Davis
Katharine Cortes, Ph.D. | Associate Director, History Project at UC Davis

Liaison to the AHA Teaching Division

Laura McEnaney, Ph.D. | Professor of History, Whittier College


American Historical Association
California History–Social Science Project