Choices Blog

Immigration, Exclusion, and Race: It’s a Good Time to Teach About This

Andy Blackadar

We in the United States live in an era of superheated politics and a superheated news cycle where media attention flits from issue to issue, outrage to outrage. The president’s remarks on immigration from African countries and Haiti have put the spotlight squarely on him. The attitudes underlying his remarks deserve scrutiny. At the same […]

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A Changing Cuba

jdf@brown.edu

Since December 17, 2014, when Raúl Castro and Barack Obama announced that the U.S. and Cuba would normalize relations after over fifty years without any diplomatic ties, Cuba has dominated U.S. headlines. Some people see this historic shift as the latest in a series of short, dramatic periods of change that characterize Cuban history—starting with […]

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Young People Take Action on Climate Change

jdf@brown.edu

“Coming here today, I have no hidden agenda. I am fighting for my future. Losing my future is not like losing an election or a few points on the stock market. I am here to speak for all generations to come. I am here to speak on behalf of the starving children around the world […]

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Can We Trust Iran?

jdf@brown.edu

“If the nuclear crisis is ever to get resolved, now is the time for it to get resolved.” —Payam Mohseni, Director of Iran Project, Harvard University With the deadline for an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program drawing near, The New York Times put out a video today outlining what is at stake in the Iran negotiations.   […]

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Yemen

Andy Blackadar

The New York Times video reporting from the Middle East over the past few days has been terrific. This piece on the Houthi forces in Yemen is interesting and vivid, focusing on the experience of ordinary people as the country changes. The reporter includes two video “sidebars.” (You can access them simply by clicking in […]

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Nukes Over North Carolina—Were We Lucky?

Susannah Bechtel

On January 24, 1961, two hydrogen bombs crashed to the ground outside Goldsboro, North Carolina. One hit a field at 700 miles per hour and shattered without detonating. The other remained intact after its parachute was snared by the branches of a tree. The plane carrying the bombs was a U.S. B-52 bomber. After taking […]

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Why Does Climate Change Matter?

jdf@brown.edu

That the climate is changing, and that human activity is playing a substantial role in accelerating that change, is not a new discovery. About one hundred years ago, a Swedish chemist first calculated how human emissions of greenhouse gases might influence global average temperatures. At the Earth Summit in 1992—the largest gathering of international leaders […]

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The Umbrella Movement and Trends of Modern Protest

jdf@brown.edu

Over the past five years, we have seen a surge of public uprisings around the world. From Tunis, Cairo, and Madrid to Istanbul, Kiev, and Caracas, people have turned to public protest and civil disobedience to express frustration with their countries’ distinct social, economic, and political states. The Choices Program has just published a new […]

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Rethinking History: A Look at the Writing Process at the Choices Program

Andy Blackadar

Late last month, three members of the Choices curriculum team received the 2014 Franklin Buchanan Prize from the Association for Asian Studies for the outstanding curriculum resource on Asia. Leah Elliott and Maya Lindberg were recognized for their work as writers and Tanya Waldburger for her videography in Indian Independence and the Question of Partition. Congratulations […]

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Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty and the State of the Union

lmelliot@brown.edu

“This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America. I urge this Congress and all Americans to join with me in that effort. It will not be a short or easy struggle, no single weapon or strategy will suffice, but we shall not rest until that war is won.” -Lyndon B. […]

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Google Takes on History

ml56@brown.edu

On November 13, 2013, Google India released a video advertisement, Reunion, which tells the story of two fictional, elderly men—Baldev and Yusuf— who are long-lost childhood friends. Baldev lives in India, and Yusuf lives in Pakistan. Baldev’s granddaughter uses the Google search engine to track down Yusuf, and then coordinates a reunion between the two men […]

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Nelson Mandela—”A Giant of History”

ml56@brown.edu

On December 10, the official memorial service for Nelson Mandela was held in Johannesburg, South Africa. Tens of thousands of people from across the world—presidents, prime ministers, and everyday people—gathered for the service. As a nod to Mandela’s lifetime achievements, the memorial service coincided with the United Nations’ Human Rights Day. Coincidently, December 10 also […]

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How The Economic Machine Works

Tanya Waldburger

Here’s a fantastic video that explains how an economy works: At 30 minutes, it’s on the long side, but it covers everything from the basic building blocks of an economy to more complicated concepts like short-term and long-term debt cycles. (Since it’s on YouTube, you have the option to share or embed a certain section […]

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The March (1963)

Tanya Waldburger

The National Archives recently released a digitally restored version of the 1963 documentary The March directed by James Blue. The 30-minute film chronicles the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28th, 1963. While (regrettably) the most iconic moment of that event, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech has […]

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50 Years after the March on Washington: Student Activist Stories

lmelliot@brown.edu

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. This day gives us an exceptional reason to reflect on that event, the civil rights struggle, and the challenges that remain. It is important that students not only focus on the philosophy and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but also on the experiences of […]

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Afghanistan: Cost of War infographic

Tanya Waldburger

Here’s a beautifully executed motion infographic about the true cost (from the British perspective) of the war in Afghanistan. (Commissioned by Stop the War UK.)

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Being Khrushchev

Andy Blackadar

This short film produced by Koji Masutani ’05 in collaboration with James Blight and janet Lang is part of a research effort called The Armageddon Letters. This multimedia project, based at the University of Waterloo, focuses on the most dangerous moment of the Cold War: the Cuban Missile Crisis. The project website when it is […]

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TED-Ed: Lessons Worth Sharing

Tanya Waldburger

Use engaging videos to create customized lessons. You can use, tweak, or completely redo any lesson featured on TED-Ed, or create lessons from scratch based on any video from YouTube. Get started at TED-Ed!

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YouTube for Schools

Tanya Waldburger

Google has just launched YouTube for Schools, a network setting that school administrators can turn on to grant access only to the educational content from YouTube EDU. Teachers can choose from the hundreds of thousands of videos on YouTube EDU created by more than 600 partners like the Smithsonian, TED, Steve Spangler Science, Khan Academy […]

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New in Scholars Online: Benjamin Hopkins

Tanya Waldburger

“[Afghanistan] turns from being this…central player in a regional order into being this…land of endemic chaos that doesn’t really fit any place.” How did Afghanistan become the country it is today? Professor Benjamin Hopkins takes a look back at the history of Central Asia and how British imperialism shaped the future of Afghanistan. This video […]

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New in Scholars Online: Charles Tripp

Tanya Waldburger

In November 2002, a team of Iraq experts was assembled to meet with Prime Minister Tony Blair and advise him on the consequences of going to war in Iraq. Charles Tripp, a professor of Middle East politics at the University of London, was a member of that team. Here he gives a fascinating, behind-the-scenes account […]

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The Debt Ceiling Debate

Tanya Waldburger

In less than two weeks, the Obama administration says the federal government will run out of money to pay its bills unless Congress raises the nation’s $14.3 trillion borrowing limit. Congress is now in a contentious debate with the White House on whether to raise the debt ceiling. Liberal Democrats oppose deep spending cuts, while […]

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The Teaching Profession in 2030

Sarah Massey

The Teacher Leaders Network (TLN) is a network of highly accomplished teacher leaders from across the nation who are dedicated to student success and the transformation of teaching into a true profession. Not to be missed on their website is a 5 minute, quirky video A Look at TEACHING 2030. A Look at TEACHING 2030 […]

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One Year Later: The BP Oil Spill

Tanya Waldburger

On April 20, 2010, an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico led to the largest accidental marine oil spill in history. Oil’d, a short animation by Chris Harmon, does a nice job of putting the scale of the disaster into perspective, by showing how those 205 million gallons of oil […]

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Keep Your Eyes on Yemen and Syria

Andy Blackadar

While the media focuses on Libya, events in Yemen and Syria also deserve our attention. I think that the scale of the protests there suggest that change is coming soon. Al Jazeera English is giving it good coverage.

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New in Scholars Online: Senator Jack Reed

Tanya Waldburger

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is a member of the Armed Services Committee and the Appropriations Committee, and has been to Iraq fifteen times since the U.S. invasion in 2003. Here he talks about why high school students should care about the decision to invade Iraq. This video is part of the Scholars Online collection […]

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The Arab Spring

Emmett Fitzgerald

Nowruz is the name of the Iranian New Year. It occurs each year on the vernal equinox (around March 21st) and is celebrated by Iranic peoples throughout the world. Nowruz is the holiday of spring, and people come together to celebrate light and renewal by cleaning out their homes, having bonfires, and feasting. This Nowruz, […]

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New in Scholars Online: Robert Lee

Tanya Waldburger

In January, we interviewed Robert Lee, an associate professor of American Civilization at Brown University, on the topic of immigration. Lee studies the history of Asians in the United States, racial formations, and relations between Asia and America. In this video, Professor Lee talks about how race has affected the immigrant experience. Visit Scholars Online […]

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