Resources for K-16 Educators and Students

The Center for Global Studies evaluates educational resources related to global issues and adds links on our site to those organizations and materials we hope will be relevant and helpful to educators and students at primary and secondary institutions and community colleges who are interested in issues that have a global impact.

Below are links to a wide variety of organizations and associations that provide lesson plans and curriculum guides, primary and secondary source materials, and professional development opportunities.

Professional Development

In addition, CGS offers professional development workshops on global studies topics for schools and educators across the nation. We encourage you to subscribe to the K-16 GLOBAL ED LISTSERV to receive notices about upcoming workshops and travel opportunities offered by CGS and other NRCs and educational organizations. The GLOBAL STUDIES IN EDUCATION online Masters Degree at the University of Illinois is an excellent opportunity for working educators interested in thinking critically about issues of globalization and education and incorporating international perspectives into their curriculum and pedagogy. For administrators, faculty, and librarians from community colleges, CGS also offers the annual INTERNATIONAL STUDIES RESEARCH LAB, which offers resources and consulting assistance for expanding global studies curricula, instruction in less commonly taught languages, library collection development, and international education programs.

Additional professional development opportunities have been gathered here.


Our staff is pleased to assist with organizing classroom visits by subject-area specialists, and to consult on developing global studies programs in schools. Please contact us for more information, or to offer suggestions and comments regarding K-12 educational resources and professional development opportunities: 

Educational Resources

Big History Brings the Museum to the Middle Schooler

A photo of two young women behind a table. On the table is a plastic bin. In front of the plastic bin are a number of artifacts, including facsimile currency from several nations, a replica clay tablet, a container of PlayDough, and a stylus.

Courtesy of The Spurlock Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

With the support of the Center for Global Studies, the Spurlock Museum has created Big History, a hands-on curriculum that brings the complexity of human history to life through in-depth study of artifacts and cultural histories from around the globe. The curriculum, which serves area middle schools, includes six teaching kits that feature artifacts and artifact replicas, background information, and lessons that focus on close observation of objects, critical thinking, and active integration of learning through art-making and other activities. Two graduate students from the College of Education visit sixth grade classrooms repeatedly throughout the school year to present lessons, allowing students to become familiar with them and build trust, and giving middle school instructors the opportunity to integrate the material throughout the school year, rather than focusing on only one or two field trips. A pilot program in St. Joseph also contributes to achieving equity between rural and population center schools. The graduate assistants for the Big History 2017-2018 academic year are pictured here with some of the artifact kits that they used in the classroom. To learn more about educator resources offered by the Spurlock, visit the museum’s educator site or contact Elizabeth Stone at .