History, 8-12, Preliminary Certification, Massachusetts, License#: 49502 (Click here)


Edward M. Kennedy Institution for the United States Senate, 2016-present (click here)

Volunteer, working with school groups and other patrons giving tours of the Institution, including interactive modules.

Worcester Academy, 1996-2016

  • World History Courses: World History AP, World Civilizations  I and II ( click here)
  • U.S. History Courses: American Studies/American History/ U.S. History AP/ American Government
  • Electives: Introduction to Ethics / Life in the City: Exploring Urban Issues /Contemporary Issues/The War in Iraq/Globalization and Poverty in America/U.S.-China Relations/U.S.-Middle East Relations, /History and the Media
  • Work with International Students: U.S. History for International Students and World History for International Students

 College-level: Graduate and Undergraduate Courses

  • The America Century: U.S. Foreign Policy Since 1945, Fitchburg State University, Teaching American History Program, Summer 2007 and Summer of 2010 (click here for website)
  • World History through Biography, 1500 to the Present, Summer 1995, 1996, and 1997, Clark University, College of Professional and Continuing Education
  • Co-instructor, Modern Dictators: Napoleon to Saddam Hussein, Fall 1996 Clark University, College of Professional and Continuing Education
  • Teaching Assistant, Salem State College, U.S. History Prof. John Donaldson, 1989-1990.

Available Performance Data:

History, 8-12, Preliminary Certification, Massachusetts Teacher Test Results (Click here)

AP World History scores_2010-2014, click here

Student Evaluations:

Murnane, John Semester 2/ 2015-16

Murnane, John Semester 1/2015-16.

Murnane, John Semester 1 /2014-15

Murnane Semester 2 /2014-15

Murnane, John Trimester 2 /2013-2014

Murnane, John Trimester 3 /2013-2014

Guest Lecture/ AP World History class (2013)

My Teaching Philosophy:

I’ll never forget inviting Professor T.H. Von Laue to discuss Russian history with my class at Clark University: he introduced himself as a “student of history” (mind you, at that time he was in his eighties, wore half-glasses and a rumpled suit coat, he was fluent in four languages with a long list of publications, and he was the son of a Nobel Prize winning physicist). This “student of history” never lost his spark, the curiosity to learn and to question; he never got caught up in titles—education was a never-ending pursuit and he was determined to keep at it decade after decade. Von Laue also introduced me to the study of world history and the need to think on a global scale (he was a pioneer in this field). He invited me to attend my first world history conference at Bentley College in 1993. And he was clearly a role model—he interacted with everyone he met the way I’ve described here. Taken together, Von Laue’s traits and values are at the core of my educational philosophy: never stop learning; think globally; model intellectual curiosity.

Nobody with his or her eyes open can ignore the deluge of information the 21st Century has brought; nobody who has taught or studied world history can profess to know it “all.” The only logical path is to keep learning. This attitude helps teachers put themselves in the shoes of the students: it reminds them of what it feels like to learn something for the first time, the struggle involved, the excitement; it fosters a sense of humility and empathy; it lends itself to a kind of natural role modeling of the type Von Laue exhibited during his many years as a scholar and an educator.

Of course, talking about it only goes so far. Modeling intellectual curiosity works best through actions. Publishing, reading on a wide variety of topics, and discussing issues with students and faculty alike–all have a positive impact on students and teachers and the entire learning atmosphere in individual classrooms and throughout an entire school. (Didn’t Jefferson say, “I cannot live in a world without books?”)

Contemplating the enormity of the world’s problems and the palpable sense of uncertainty in our global age can be intimidating. It can just as easily be seen as an opportunity, a way to discover and explore new things. Historian William H. McNeill referred to cultural diffusion as the “drive-wheel of history.” The process of borrowing across cultures goes beyond the study of history, however. From music to math, from science to dessert recipes, our lives are a product of this on-going global process. We cannot stop it: we need to help students embrace it and adapt to it, armed with a sense of curiosity and the desire to keep learning. It is a set of values adults need to exhibit as well as expound. In a sense, we all need to become Von Laue’s “students.” I hope that I have followed in his footsteps so far. I hope I can continue to do so well into my eighties. Achieving this, I’d be able to agree with Cicero that “the life given us by nature is short, but the memory of a life well spent is eternal.”

For a Bio on T.H. Von Laue (click here).

For a more detailed version of my teaching philosophy (click here).


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