Alan Marcus


Curriculum and Instruction (EDCI)


University of Connecticut Teaching Fellow

Academic Degrees:

Ph.D. Curriculum & Teacher Education, Stanford University 2003
M.A.T Social Studies Education, Boston University 1992
B.S. Political Science, Tufts University 1990

Areas of Expertise:

History Education

Holocaust Education

Teaching with Film

Museum Education

Teacher Education

Social Studies Education


Alan Marcus is Professor in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Connecticut and is a UConn Teaching Fellow. His scholarship and teaching focus on museum education, teaching with film, and global education, with an emphasis on the Holocaust and teaching difficult history. Alan collaborates with museum educators across the United States and internationally, is a Faculty Fellow for the Holocaust Institute for Teacher Educations at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and runs an education abroad program for pre-service teachers in Nottingham, England. Alan is the past president of the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies and was a lead writer for the State of Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks. His current research includes evaluating the potential and limitations of virtual interactive Holocaust survivor testimony, participating as a part of the “Technology Meets Testimony” scholar network at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, and contributing as a theme lead for an AHRC (UK) project on historical testimony. Alan is a former high school social studies teacher and regularly collaborates with K-12 teachers on curriculum development and innovative pedagogy.

Funded Research:

The Forever Project: The Benefits and Dilemmas of Using Virtual Interactive Holocaust Survivor Testimony

Making History: Implementing CT’s New Social Studies Frameworks

Supporting student learning at history museums: the practices of teachers and museum professionals

Hollywood History in High School: the relationship between teachers’ use of film and students’ perceptions and understanding of history.

Representing the past, reflecting the present: How students learn history at history museums

Selected Publications/Presentations:

Holocaust education in transition from live to virtual survivor testimony: Pedagogical and ethical dilemmas. (2021). Holocaust Studies.

Mapping the pandemic: teaching critical map literacy with interactive COVID-19 maps. (2021). Social Studies Research & Practice. 16 (2).

Monuments expire, but offensive monuments can be powerful history lessons. (2020, September 4) The Conversation

The grey zone of Holocaust education: Teaching the Holocaust with film. (2020). In A. Patt & L. Hilton (Eds.), Understanding the teaching of the Holocaust. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Teaching about genocide with film. (2020). In S. Totten (Ed.), Teaching About Genocide: Advice and Suggestions from Secondary Level Teachers and Professors. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Promoting Intercultural Competence in Professional Spaces: Education Abroad Experiences in England for Social Studies Pre-Service Teachers. (2019). Global Education Review, 6 (4). 31-49.

Why we need to rethink how we teach the Holocaust. (2018, May). The Conversation.

Teaching History with Film: Strategies for Secondary Social Studies. (2018). 2nd Edition. New York: Routledge.

Teaching The Holocaust Through Film. (2017). Social Education. 81 (3) 172-176.

Teaching history with Museums: Strategies for K-12 social studies. (2017). 2nd Edition. New York: Routledge.

Teaching Difficult History with Film. (2017). New York: Routledge.

Film, Media, and Popular Culture in Historical Learning in: Scott Metzger & Lauren Harris (Eds.) (2017). International Handbook of History Teaching and Learning.  Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.

Teaching Difficult History with Film: Multiple Perspectives on the Holocaust in Teaching Difficult History with Film, Stoddard, Jeremy, Marcus, Alan S. & Hicks, David. (Editors). (2017). New York: Routledge.

Using Film to Teach Difficult Histories in Teaching Difficult History with Film. Stoddard, Jeremy, Marcus, Alan S. & Hicks, David. (Editors). (2017). New York: Routledge

Media and Social Studies Education: The (Re)Emergence of Film, New Media, and Gaming in Handbook of Social Studies Research. (2017). Meghan Manfra and Cheryl Bolick (Eds.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.

Museum Footnotes: Helping Student Visitors Understand Museums. (2016).  Journal of Museum Education. 41 (4). 353-362.

Enhancing Intercultural Understanding for Pre-service Teachers through Developing and Sustaining Education Abroad Experiences. (2015). The Journal of International Social Studies. 5 (2) 22-37.

Learning Local Immigration History In and Out of the Museum. (2015). Museum & Society.  13 (1).

Over there: Exploring a WWII themed short-duration study abroad program for pre-service teachers. (2015). In David Schwarzer & Beatrice L. Bridglall (Editors) Promoting Global Competence and Social Justice in Teacher Education. Rowan & Littlefield Publishers.

The Burden of Historical Representation: The Case of/for Indigenous Film. (2014). The History Teacher. 48 (1).

We need to talk: Improving dialogue between social studies teachers and museum educators. (2013). The Social Studies. 104 (5).

How secondary history teachers use and think about museums: Current practices and untapped promise for promoting historical understanding. (2012). Theory and Research in Social Education.

From The Civil War to 9/11: Democracy and the Right to a Fair Trial. Social Education. (2011).  75 (4), 196-198.

Knight at the Museum: Learning History with Museums. The Social Studies. (2011)). 102 (3), 104-109.

Remember The Alamo? Learning History with Monuments and Memorials. (2010). Social Education. 74 (3), 131-134.

More Than “Showing What Happened” Exploring the Potential for Teaching History with Film. (2010). High School Journal.

How the structure and focus of teachers’ collaborative activities facilitate and constrain teacher learning. (2010). Teaching and Teacher Education. 26 (3), 389-398.

The inconvenient truth about teaching history with documentary film: Strategies for presenting multiple perspectives and teaching controversial issues. (2009). The Social Studies. 100 (6), 279-285.

Tasting the fluoride: Feature film, women’s history, and modern-day critical consciousness. (2009). Social Studies Research & Practice. 4 (1).

Museum and school collaboration: Rethinking adult education for K- 12 teachers. (2008, Spring).  Journal of Museum Education. 33 (1), 55-78.

Celluloid Blackboard: Teaching History with Film. (2007). Information Age Publishers: Charlotte, NC.

Tinsel Town as Teacher: Hollywood Film in the High School History Classroom. (May/June 2007). The History Teacher.

How schools close the achievement gap: Facilitating multiple trajectories of teacher learning. (2007, Fall). Journal of Advanced Academics. 19 (1), 116-138.

Representing the Past, Reflecting the Present: Museums, Memorials, and the Secondary History Classroom. (2007). The Social Studies. 98 (3). 105-110.

“The reality of it all:” History students read the movies. (2006, Fall). Theory and Research in Social Education.

The Burden of Historical Representation: Race, Freedom and “Educational” Hollywood Film. (2006, Spring). Film & History. 36.1

 “It is as it was:” Feature Film in the History Classroom. (2005, March/April). The Social Studies. 96 (2) 61-67.


University of Connecticut Teaching Fellow.

AAUP-University of Connecticut Excellence Award for Innovation in Teaching. 2011

Stanford Teacher Education Program Award: Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student. June 2001

Stanford University School of Education Fellowship. 1999-2000


Director. Understanding Global Perspectives in History and Education. Created and lead semester-long program for UConn pre-service history teachers in Nottingham, England. Fall 2015-present.

Faculty Fellow (HITE), United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Co-lead writer, Connecticut Social Studies Frameworks

Editorial Board, Theory & Research in Social Education (2013-2016)

Editorial Board Member, Canadian Social Studies. 2012-present.

Past President and Board Member, Connecticut Council for the Social Studies.

Neag Social Studies Alumni Association (NSAA). Founder and faculty sponsor.

Teaching American History in the Capitol Region (CREC Teaching American History Grant)

In the News:

Teaching Map Literacy is Important Part of Having an Informed Public

New Website Developed by Neag School will Assist High School History Teachers

Seeing the Cracks in Controversial Statues – NPR interview

The Future of Holocaust Education: Virtual Survivor Testimony in 3D

In 2020, What are we grateful for? NPR 

West VA BOE proposal draws mixed reviews over trimming social studies credits 

Lessons from history are our legacy for the future

Rethinking How to Teach the Holocaust, Radio Interview – “Top of the Mind” with Julie Rose

Museum Examines Onlookers’ Role in Holocaust

Innovative Exhibits Provide Insights Into Museum Curating, Weather’s Impact on WWII

Neag and History Professors Collaborate on “Teaching History with Museums” Book

Neag Professor Leads European Embarkment on WWII Studies

Teaching the Meaning of 9/11

9/11 Tradegy Provides Teachable Moments

Teaching History with Museums

It’s All in the Historical Record – But Whose?

Film an important classroom tool says education professor

Review of Celluloid Blackboard in Teachers College Record

Contact Information
Phone860 486 0281
Mailing AddressUnit 3033
Office LocationGentry 424