Why use the Choices Program’s materials? What will your students gain?

The Choices Program’s curriculum materials develop the skills and knowledge young people need to be informed global citizens capable of engaging in thoughtful discussions about history and decision making on contested contemporary policy issues.

Choices develops curriculum materials in collaboration with Brown University faculty members. Choices curriculum reflects the most current scholarship and historiography.

The Choices Program designs its curriculum to help students:

  • Understand that history is a contested, complex, and evolving account of the past
  • Think critically about the past and consider how it shapes the present
  • Apply historical knowledge and critical thinking skills to gain understanding of current issues
  • Propose and consider questions about the past
  • Build research skills
  • Become critical consumers of information and engaged global citizens who act with empathy and an awareness of historical and current systems of power
  • Develop an understanding of issues, events, and policy choices in the context of a historical time period
  • Understand the roles of individuals, groups, and institutions as well as elite decision makers in history and current events
  • Consider political, social, cultural, and economic perspectives and understand how these factors influence one another
  • Identify continuity and change across places, events, and time periods
  • Seek out and evaluate diverse and conflicting perspectives
  • Identify “silences” in the historical record and assess what they may mean
  • Analyze a range of primary sources, including written documents, artifacts, works of art, and oral histories
  • Understand the role of secondary sources; consult and evaluate competing and complementary secondary sources
  • Analyze sources to determine their perspective, bias, and reliability
    • Closely read sources and identify claims and evidence
    • Develop evidence-based interpretations of sources
    • Use multiple sources to corroborate information
  • Realize that all individuals are decision makers, but that personal and public choices are often restricted by time, place, and circumstance
  • Assess how values inform perspectives, policy choices, and decision-making
  • Build deliberative dialogue skills to learn how to engage in civil discussion about controversial issues
  • Develop speaking, listening, and persuasion skills when articulating their own viewpoints about history or contemporary policy issues

Choices curriculum materials are in alignment with the Core Competencies of the American Historical Association; the Habits of Mind of the National Council For History Education; and the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards. We encourage you to look at these organizations and their documents.

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