Looking for an old or retired unit?

We encourage you to look at the date of publication of any Choices units that you have. If it is more than five years old, chances are there is an updated edition for you to use with your students.

In addition to our regular updating and revamping of materials, over the past ten years, the Choices Program has retired a number of curriculum units that utilized outdated scholarship or pedagogy. Why did Choices retire those units and where did their content go?

New Approaches to History and Current Issues

We replaced some curriculum units so that we could bring new scholarship and approaches to history and current issues to secondary school classrooms. The content that was included in some of these units was updated and re-released in new units:

Problematic Role Plays

We retired some units because of significant problems with their role plays. For many years, role plays were the signature of Choices Program curriculum materials. Originally used to illuminate the issues surrounding U.S. foreign policy, the Choices Program also adapted this approach to historical turning points as a means of illuminating competing views for students. Following an assessment of the pedagogy of Choices’ role plays, we identified several that replicated or perpetuated injustice. We strongly believe that no student should be asked to take on the role of a violent oppressor or to reenact racist views. Therefore, between 2012 and 2018, the Choices Program retired or replaced the curriculum units that contained problematic role plays. Choices remains strongly committed to writing inclusive and responsible history that reflects the most recent scholarship.

We recommend in the strongest possible terms that teachers do not use the following retired curriculum units. If you are a teacher who is still using any of these units, or if you have any questions about why we have retired these units, please email us at choices@brown.edu.

  • Reluctant Colossus: America Enters the Age of Imperialism and Beyond Manifest Destiny: America Enters the Age of Imperialism (Replaced by Imperial America: U.S. Global Expansion, 1890-1915, which includes updated historiography and new lessons in place of the role play.)
  • Colonialism in the Congo: Conquest, Conflict, and Commerce (Replaced by Colonization and Independence in Africa, which includes updated historiography and new lessons.)
  • Ending the War Against Japan: Science, Morality, and the Atomic Bomb (Content will be covered in a forthcoming curriculum on the Second World War.)
  • A Forgotten History: The Slave Trade and Slavery in New England (This will be re-released at a later date under a modified title, A Forgotten History: Slavery and Emancipation in New England. In the meantime, please see our unit Racial Slavery in the Americas: Resistance, Freedom, and Legacies, which is free in Digital Editions through June 30, 2022.)
  • The French Revolution, 1st edition, 2009 (Replaced by the 2nd edition in 2018, which includes updated historiography and a revised role play.)
  • The Haitian Revolution, 1st edition, 2010 (Replaced by the 2nd edition in 2018. Role play has been replaced by document analysis lesson.)
  • Weimar Germany and the Rise of Hitler (No scheduled rerelease date for a new edition.)

Plans for New Curriculum

Some of the periods of history in retired curriculum units will be covered in future releases in our U.S. History Series. In 2021, we began development on a new unit that will cover content in the retired unit The Limits of Power: The United States in VietnamWe are planning to replace the content from the retired unit The Origins of the Cold War: U.S. Choices After World War II and to develop new curriculum on the Great Depression and World War II. We are also planning to develop new content to replace To End All Wars: World War I and the League of Nations Debate.

The best way to be sure you are notified of new and updated releases is to join our mailing list (see the red bar below). You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: @choicesprogram.

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