The Choices Program at Brown University has been awarded the 2024 Buchanan Prize from the Association for Asian Studies. The prize is awarded annually to recognize an outstanding pedagogical, instructional, or curriculum publication about Asia designed for K-12 or college undergraduate instructors and learners. Choices received the prize for its curriculum The Vietnam War: Origins, History, and Legacies, which was published in May 2023. 

Christian Appy, Professor History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and one of the most influential U.S. historians of the Vietnam War, praised the Choices Vietnam War curriculum unit for “reflect[ing] a deep immersion in relevant scholarship.” He proclaimed it “the most sophisticated presentation of information and analysis on the war written for a high school audience that I’ve ever read.” 

The Vietnam War: Origins, History, and Legacies is based on recent scholarship in Vietnamese Studies, U.S. history, and the history of the global Cold War. It tells the “long history” of the destructive, deadly, and divisive U.S. war in Vietnam by tracing its long-term origins and assessing its long-term consequences. It looks backward toward the history of French colonialism in Southeast Asia, the evolution of the Vietnamese nationalist movement, and the First Indochina War/Anti-French Resistance War. It also looks forward from the end of the U.S. war in Vietnam to examine the experiences of Vietnamese refugees and reflect on the conflict’s effects on Vietnamese and American societies long into the future. 

“This new Vietnam War unit fills a critical need,” said Kerry Dunne, History and Social Studies Department Head at Lexington High School in Massachusetts. “Increasingly, students and their families have little direct connection to or even shared memory of this war, so quality instruction on this topic is essential. I particularly appreciated the inclusion of Vietnamese perspectives and accounts of this war, as well as the excellent visual resources.” 

The curriculum includes a 74-page Student Text of readings as well as a 78-page Teacher Resource Book that contains seven ready-to-implement lesson plans, along with graphic organizers and two study guides for each part of the Student Text.

This is the third time that the Buchanan Prize has been awarded to the Choices program in the Prize’s nearly 30-year history. The award is granted to a curriculum that reflects “current scholarship as well as innovative pedagogical methodologies that emphasize student-centered learning and skill development.” In 2012, the curriculum unit The United States in Afghanistan received the award. That unit has been updated twice since its release and a fourth edition is currently in development. 

In 2014, the unit Indian Independence and the Question of Partition received the prize. The unit examines the relationship between British rule in India and the partition of 1947, which led to the creation of India and Pakistan and was one of the most volatile events of the twentieth century.

The Choices Program has also received other awards. Most recently, in 2023, the American Association of School Librarians named Choices as one of the Best Digital Tools for Teaching and Learning. The award recognizes “digital tools that foster innovation and collaboration, encourage exploration and participation, are user-friendly, and offer information and references.” The Digital Editions format from Choices provides the same high-quality, up-to-date curriculum as the print units in a dynamic, engaging student learning experience. 

Learn more about the Choices Program, its award-winning curriculum, free Teaching with the News lessons and online video collection, and professional development opportunities at

Additional coverage:

AsiaNow Speaks with Kevin Hoskins – Association for Asian Studies
Choices Program’s curriculum on Vietnam War wins 2024 Buchanan Prize – Brown Daily Herald
Choices Program Awarded Buchanan Prize for Outstanding Curriculum on the Vietnam War – Brown Department of History


Back to top