M.Ed. Teaching History

credits 33 | cost/credit $340 | completion 2 years (5 to 6 semesters) | next start March 8

Earn your M.Ed. in Teaching History online and prepare for opportunities to teach college-level history courses as dual/concurrent enrollment or with a community college. You're teaching your students how to explore the relevance of history – to see the relationship between past and present. You want them to look for patterns, complexities, causalities, and the greater role of history. Now it's time for you to deepen your content knowledge and hone your craft of teaching history to K-12 or community college students. With Northwestern College's online Masters in Teaching History, build on what you already know to become an even better teacher. 

It's more than a lane change. And it's all online. 

100% online. 8-week courses. Go at your pace.

Earning a graduate degree doesn't have to cost you time away from your other responsibilities. Northwestern College's online Masters in Teaching History allows you to log into class each week to complete your coursework, whenever it's most convenient for you.

Take one online 8-week class at a time, completing two classes each semester, and you'll finish your M.Ed. in 2 years or less and be eligible for financial aid. 

18 Credits in History

This M.Ed. program includes 18 graduate credits in history, which meets most regional accreditor and department of education requirements to teach history courses as dual/concurrent enrollment, Postsecondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) or community college setting. The program allow you to explore your own historical topic and time period interests, and develop new ways to make history more relevant for your students.

If you want to complete only the 18 credits in history or already hold a master's degree in education, you may choose the Graduate Certificate in Teaching HistoryHere's how. 

Master of Education in Teaching History students must have an endorsement in history or social studies for acceptance or receive prior approval from the M.Ed. department chair for admission.

Program Requirements

Core (15 credits):


(3 credits) Teachers and schools must continually examine current practices in PreK-12 education in search of better solutions to increase student achievement and to thoroughly prepare children for the world in which they will live and work. In this course students will study current social, political and academic trends and issues affecting children, teachers and schools. Students will define their personal positions based on facts and experience, and will collaborate with others to advocate for solutions that improve education for PreK-12 grade students. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

(3 credits) Through a process of discussion, reflection, reading, discovery and practice, this course will lead students to a more comprehensive understanding of how curriculum and assessment are interrelated. Students will delve into timely issues associated with curriculum and assessment affecting schools. Upon completion, students will be prepared to develop aligned curriculum and assessment that takes into consideration local, state and national standards, best practices and students' diverse needs. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

(3 credits) Technology integration in the K-12 setting can enhance learning, improve motivation and engagement, increase accessibility, individualize instruction, differentiate assessment and improve communication with parents and stakeholders. In this course students will broaden their understanding of the technology available to them in the PreK-12 classroom and improve their ability to leverage specific technology to improve teaching and learning. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.

(3 credits) The English word “history” comes from the Greek word historia, which means “inquiry.” This course is an overview of the historical method in research and teaching historical inquiry in a classroom setting. This course will provide an overview of historical research and investigate the best practices of historical inquiry in a variety of classroom settings. Topics include historical questions and historiography, finding appropriate and trustworthy sources of primary and secondary evidence, analysis of evidence, and ways to implement historical research skills in the K-12 classroom setting. Students will develop their ability to critically evaluate historical research and to judiciously apply findings in their professional settings. By the conclusion of the course students will be able to identify a potential topic for future research and outline the basic methodology needed to conduct the study. 

(3 credits) In this course students will apply the cumulative knowledge andskills learned in their master's program through an action research project.Research focus may be related to student learning, teacher effectiveness,school quality, school policy or other area by approval. The project will beproposed, approved, designed, and implemented prior to thestudent's graduation with a master's degree in education from NorthwesternCollege. Students who do not have a finished capstone approved by theM.Ed. Director at the conclusion of EDU635 will repeat the course for credit. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education. Note: Graded on a pass/no pass basis.

Teaching History Emphasis (18 credits)
Choose 6 from:

(3 credits) This course explores perceptions of sport and how sport has changed, with a focus on race, gender, class and ethnicity. We will examine the history of sport in the United States from the colonial period to the present. We will consider how sports reflected and often shaped ideas about race, gender, ethnicity, class, amateurism, professionalization, international politics and governmental policies and laws. The class will focus on the ways that Christians perceived and embraced certain forms of sport and the ways that Christians influenced sport and were influenced by sport. In addition, the course traces the development of sports, investigate the ways in which spontaneous games played by Americans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries evolved into highly formalized and popular activities that now comprise a multi-billion dollar industry. 

(3 credits) [The Wolfsthurn Handbook] “recommends taking the leaves of a particular plant as a remedy for ‘fever of all sorts’; this in itself would count as science, or as folk medicine, rather than magic. Before using these leaves, one is supposed to write certain Latin words on them to invoke the power of the Holy Trinity…; this in itself would count as religion. There is no scientific or religious reason, however, for repeating this procedure before sunrise on three consecutive mornings. By adding this requirement, the [medieval] author enhances the power of science and religion with that of magic.”2 This course explores two interconnected historical problems: (1) the nature of magic as a theoretical and practical world view that was dominant in the pre-modern Mediterranean world and Europe, and (2) the origin and development of science from ancient and medieval natural philosophy. Both the history of magic and the history of science must be understood in tandem. A historical treatment of the origin of modern science at the end of the Middle Ages that does not discuss medieval magic would be incomplete; similarly, it would be impossible to discuss medieval magic without also discussing medieval natural philosophy (i.e. what we would call today science). Further, both of these phenomena are inseparable from religion, and consequently, the course also attends carefully to how the Christian church responded to both magic and science.

(3 credits) Despite some recent progress toward disarmament, we still exist in a world in which two nations, each possessing thousands of nuclear warheads, have the capacity to destroy all of the planet’s major cities, not to mention much of the territory in between, many times over. At least seven other nations have control of sufficient nuclear explosives to utterly destroy their immediate neighbors.2 This course explores how this situation came about and how perceptions of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy have changed. The course focuses on scientific culture, American culture during the Cold War, religious responses to the bomb, and the broader implications of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. We will examine how atomic energy was first conceived and how it was eventually harnessed. This new source of destructive power decisively changed the socio-political role of the physicist, altered the nature of war, and introduced global suicide as strategic policy. The focus of the class will be to think about the network and recourses necessary to produce a technical object like the atom bomb, as well as the socio-cultural impact of the introduction of a new technology. 

(3 credits) This course concentrates on the most popular forms of historical narrative outside the classroom: novels, movies, and comic books. How do artists recall, organize, and perhaps most importantly, make relevant to us today, various pasts stories? For teachers as well as students, movies, novels and comic books make big impressions. Through carefully selected examples of each, students will learn how historical narrative works, about distinctive genres of historical narrative (the Western, combat, dystopian stories) make a particular past seem relevant, and how to think historically about such stories. We’ll conclude the class by considering conspiracy theories as particular and fascinating forms of historical storytelling. Overall, we will work on thinking carefully and well about popular culture’s various takes on the past, and finding some ways to help our students do so. 

(3 credits) This course examines major political issues in Europe since 1945. Topics covered include the emergence of a politically divided Europe, ideological debates in post-war European politics, the project of European integration, the breakup of the communist bloc and its aftermath, religion and European politics, and current issues in Europe.

(3 credits) This course provides an introduction to some of the key Constitutional issues swirling around the first sixteen words of the First Amendment: the religion clause (or in the estimation of some the two religion clauses). Consequently, to begin the semester we will spend a fair amount of time reading about the founding fathers and their view(s) of religious liberty as well as read some of what these framers wrote themselves about this cherished freedom. We will also consider how this historical background and context informs various church-state stances today as well as briefly review the basic procedures and principles of the Supreme Court. Having set the broad boundaries of our examination, we will then look more closely at the key Supreme Court cases that have largely defined our current understanding of both the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses.

Special topics courses explore a narrow focus area within the discipline of history. Students are allowed to register for this course more than once. 

Amanda Winslow, Northwestern College M.Ed student

Triple Threat

Amanda balances raising triplets, consulting with the Iowa Department of Education, and pursing a master's degree.

Amanda's story

Caleb Van Otterloo, Northwestern College M.Ed graduate

More than a lane change

A former Red Raider football player and now a middle school teacher and coach, Caleb Van Otterloo '11 is picking up the pace of his career by earning an M.Ed. in teacher leadership.

Caleb's story

An M.Ed. program that fits

Melissa 's story

Brittany Bush

Better teaching, bigger impact

As a special education teacher, Brittany Busch wants her students to have the best. For her, that includes being the best. It’s why she’s earning her M.Ed. at Northwestern so she can expand her teaching toolbox with the most current knowledge in special education teaching and advocacy.

Brittany's story