George Lucas Educational Foundation

Benjamin Barbour

High School History and Government Teacher

I am a 10th and 11th grade history and government teacher in Fairview, Pennsylvania. I taught middle school English for two years, and I served as a high school librarian for three years. I hold a BA in political science from Boston University, an MA in library science from the University of Pittsburgh, and a MS in secondary education from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania.

I’m interested in civics education and the way in which we teach our students to become engaged and active citizens, particularly in our highly polarized political environment.

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  • Curriculum Planning

    Using One Region to Teach World History

    Focusing on depth instead of breadth can help students understand the intricacies of regional civilizations in world history.
  • Communication Skills

    Turning Texts and Emails Into Lessons on Formal Writing

    Emails and texts are staples of distance learning—often informal and riddled with text-speak. Teaching lessons on letter writing can help students improve communication.
  • Curriculum Planning

    Connecting Lessons to the Pandemic

    Incorporating the coronavirus crisis in course content can leverage students’ curiosity while showing them the real-world applicability of what they’re learning.
  • Literacy

    The Power of Short Writing Assignments

    Brief writing prompts and responses help students in any discipline.
  • Curriculum Planning

    The Bill of Rights Through the Lens of Dystopian Tales

    One teacher offers a guide to help students compare the freedoms lost in dystopian novels with the freedoms secured by the Bill of Rights.
  • Media Literacy

    Teaching Students How to Use Wikipedia Wisely

    Understanding how the online encyclopedia functions helps students learn how to conduct research and distinguish fact from fiction.
  • Literacy

    A Framework for Teaching Students How to Peer Edit

    Giving meaningful feedback on a peer’s work doesn’t come naturally to students. Try these tips to help students hone their editing skills.
  • Teaching Strategies

    Using Inaccurate Films to Understand History

    Hollywood can portray historical events with mistakes or omissions, but critical analysis turns these moments into teaching tools.
  • Diversity

    Sharing Immigrant Experiences in the Classroom

    Exploring the perspectives of immigrants with students helps them better understand the meaning of citizenship in a democracy.
  • Media Literacy

    Guiding Students to Be Open to New Ideas

    Teachers can show students how to seek out and grapple with opinions contrary to their own—key civic actions in a democracy.

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George Lucas Educational Foundation