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.


  • Literacy

    The Power of Short Writing Assignments

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