The Choices Program creates engaging educational resources and makes innovative scholarship accessible to diverse classrooms. Choices curriculum empowers students to understand the relationship between history and current issues while developing the analytical skills to become thoughtful global citizens.
What We Do
The Choices Program is a self-funded organization affiliated with the Department of History at Brown University. We work to increase access to high-quality curriculum content and strengthen education about history and current events in secondary schools in the United States and beyond. In order to accomplish this, we collaborate with leading scholars to develop curriculum materials and provide teacher professional development.
- Relies on up-to-date historiography;
- Tells an inclusive, responsible history, while also encouraging students to challenge and grapple with this history in the ways that historians do;
- Provides teachers with high-quality, carefully researched curriculum content that is used in all levels of high school classrooms and some middle schools as well as in some introductory level college courses.
The core of the Choices Program is our award-winning curriculum units that include student readings, lesson plans, and activities to accompany and complement the readings. Student readings and teacher resources are written by the Choices writing team and approved by scholars. Our engaging student readings and lesson plans reflect up-to-date historiography and equip students to develop the skills necessary for critical historical thinking and document analysis. Choices currently offers units for U.S. History, World History, Current Issues, and Geography, as well as many electives. Curriculum units are available in print format and in Digital Editions.
The Choices Program works directly with leading experts who significantly contribute to developing Choices curriculum units. While working with these experts, Choices holds itself and its collaborators to the highest standards of scholarly integrity. Read more in our Scholarly Integrity Guidelines.
Each year, the Choices writers produce a number of free, online lessons addressing current events as part of our Teaching with the News series. Choices has also produced more than 1,800 free, online scholar videos that are 2-4 minutes in length (see Scholars page). Each features a scholar or practitioner discussing topics related to his or her research or work in language that is accessible to high school audiences. These free videos complement the Choices curriculum units.
Choices also conducts a variety of professional development workshops to equip teachers to integrate Choices materials into their classrooms. In addition, onsite professional development is conducted with school districts that contract with the Choices Program.
Choices resources are used annually by an estimated one million students representing all fifty U.S. states as well as by students in about two hundred international schools. In recent years, our paid curriculum materials were used in approximately 8,000 high schools in the United States.
More than 135 leading scholars and practitioners expand Choices units via videos where they discuss issues related to topics in our curriculum.
We are a small but dedicated team that strives to supply teachers with innovative, award-winning materials that are engaging and accessible to students.
A dozen social studies educators from across the United States provide feedback and insight on a variety of topics related to the work of the Choices Program. Scholars and administrators from Brown University provide guidance to the program as a whole. (Scroll past the Choices staff to learn more about these individuals.)
Officially launched in 1988…