M.Ed. Teaching History

credits 33  |  completion 2 years (5 to 6 semesters)  |  next start August 26

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. 

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):
EDU 555 - Trends and Issues in 21st Century Education (3 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.
EDU 565 - Instructional Strategies for Diverse Students and Settings (3 credits)
(3 credits) This course is intended for experienced teachers, and will focus on building off of prior knowledge and experience to improve student learning. Research-based instructional strategies will be studied, with particular emphasis on adapting and employing strategies to fit students' cognitive abilities, motivation, interest, cultural background and other unique characteristics in diverse settings. Students in this class will apply new instructional strategies in their practice to positively impact learning in the PreK-12 classroom. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
EDU 570 - Teaching and Learning with Technology (3 credits)
(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.
HIS 610 - Historical Research and Methodologies (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. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education. (3 credits)
EDU 610 - Educational Research Methods and Design (3 credits)
(3 credits) This course will provide an overview of research methodology employed for studies in the field of education. Topics include basic research methodology, interpretation of findings, and application of research in educational settings. Students will develop their ability to critically evaluate educational 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. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education.
HIS 635 - Master's in Education History Capstone (3credits)
The English word "history" comes from the Greek word "historia," which means "inquiry." This course gives students the opportunity to apply the cumulative knowledge and skills of historical inquiry learned in the masters' program by writing and presenting an original historical argument supported by primary document and secondary research. The project will be proposed, approved, designed, and presented prior to the students' graduation with a masters degree in education from Northwestern College. Prerequisite: HIS610. (3 credits)
EDU 635 - Master’s in Education Capstone (3 credits)
(3 credits) In this course students will apply the cumulative knowledge and skills learned in their master's program. The research focus may be related to student learning, teacher effectiveness, school quality, school policy, or other area by approval. The project will be proposed, approved, designed, and implemented prior to the student's graduation with a master's degree in education from Northwestern College. Students who do not have a finished capstone approved by the M.Ed. Director at the conclusion of EDU635 will repeat the course for credit. Prerequisite: EDU610. Note: Graded on a pass/no pass basis.

Teaching History Emphasis (18 credits):

Choose six:
HIS 500 - Play, Games and Athletics: The History of Sport in America (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. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education. (3 credits)
HIS 510 - Magic, Science, and Religion in the Middle Ages (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." 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. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education. (3 credits)
HIS 520 - By The Bomb’s Early Light: The Atomic Bomb and Nuclear Culture in America (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.1 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. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education. (3 credits)
HIS 530 - Historical Tales Without a Historian: Novels, Movies, and Comic Books (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. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education. (3 credits)
HIS 540 - European History and Politics Since 1945 (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. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education. (3 credits)
HIS 550 - That Godless Court? The Supreme Court and Religious Issues in the United States (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. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education. (3 credits)
HIS 590 - Special Topics in History (3 credits)
Special topics courses explore a narrow focus area within the discipline of history. Students are allowed to register for this course more than once. Prerequisite: completed bachelor's degree in education. (1-3 credits)

Total Credits: 33 credit hours

Passion for Education

Rebecca is a K-12 literacy coach who loves the challenge of instructional coaching and learning new literacy strategies that support her students and other teachers. Through her M.Ed. program, she has gained not only educational resources, but a deepened passion for education.

Rebecca's story

With an online M.Ed. + endorsement program, Brandie was able to earn the credential she needed along with a master’s degree. What she didn’t realize was just how impactful the program would be on her teaching and life.

Brandie's story

Levi Letsche, M.Ed. Educational Administration Northwestern College, Teacher of the Year Finalist

Top Teacher

As one of five finalists for Iowa's 2023 Teacher of the Year, Levi has been recognized for his teaching excellence. As an instructional coach, he is striving to help others learn how to live a life of excellence—and succeeding. His M.Ed. in Educational Administration has equipped him to use his influence in new leadership roles.

Levi's story