News and Events

Big Step for ‘Big History’: General Assembly Held

It was supposed to be a gloomy day; an overcast sky sprinkling its foreboding wrath onto the open pavement, amplifying each drops throughout the silent halls of the empty campus. But on August 23, 2017, inside the darkly-lit University Theater, Holy Angel University was to be part of history.

The "Big History: You are Part of the Story" General Assembly was treated with insightful lectures accompanied by spectacular visuals as a fitting introduction to the Big History that the University is adopting next semester.

Big History is a relatively new multidisciplinary approach to teaching that aims to tell a modern and science based universal origin story.

Presenters, faculty members who were trained at the Dominican University of California in San Rafael, California last June 2017, discussed the nine thresholds of Big History during the event. Maynard Oronce of the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) went back billions of years into the past to discuss Big History's first five thresholds – the Big Bang, Stars, New Chemical Elements, Planets and Solar Systems, and Life on Earth.

Others who discussed the remaining thresholds were the following – Joel Regala, also of the SAS on Humans and its Collective Learning; Dr. Joan Reyes of the School of Business and Accountancy on Agriculture; Architect Shalla Gayle Billano of the School of Engineering and Architecture on Anthropocene or the Modern World; and Aris Gonzales, again of SAS on Modern History or the Future. Philip Joseph Sarmiento of the Christian Living Education department put the ongoing science versus religion debate into perspective by facilitating a reflection on these thresholds. Pedagogies and research methods were also presented to encourage faculty members' participation in Big History research.

Dr. Alma Espartinez, Vice President for Academic Affairs is hopeful that the University can uniquely and effectively implement this field to teaching and research.

HAU is the first university in Asia to adopt Big History. It is one of the University's responses to fulfill its Institutional Learning Outcomes.

The Academic Affairs Office organized the event in cooperation with the Academic Research Office. It was attended by about 700 teachers from the Grade School, High School and Colleges of the University.

Date Posted: 08-29-2017