Choices Blog

A Vote on Turkey’s Future

Susannah Bechtel

On April 16, Turkish citizens will go to the polls to vote on a package of constitutional amendments. The package proposes fundamental changes to Turkey’s parliamentary system of government—it would expand the powers of the presidency and dissolve the position of prime minister, among other changes. Public opinion is split on the referendum, and many […]

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Login to Learn—The Global Refugee Crisis: Where Do We Go from Here?

Andy Blackadar

Login to a talk on the global refugee crisis with the Choices Program Leadership Institute, Friday, July 15, 1-2:30. Expert Madeline Campbell will discuss her work with refugees from Iraq and Syria at camps and communities throughout the Middle East, the confounding global circumstances, and strategies for addressing this growing crisis. The UN reports that a tragic record […]

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Refugee Stories—Mapping a Crisis

Susannah Bechtel

“I was just a mother taking care of her children and living in Homs…. I enjoyed life. One day I’d spend an evening with my friends, another day I’d go to a birthday party. That was our life…. Now it’s all gone.” —Umm Ala’a, Syrian refugee in Lebanon What does a ten-year-old boy, working alongside […]

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Russia: News Engagement Series #2

Andy Blackadar

October 6 is National News Engagement Day, a day when “everyone is encouraged to read, watch, like, tweet, post, text, email, listen to, or comment on news.” News and the media is a vital part of social studies education today, which is why The Choices Program does our best to get current affairs content available […]

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South Africa: News Engagement Series #1

Danielle Johnstone

October 6 is National News Engagement Day, a day when “everyone is encouraged to read, watch, like, tweet, post, text, email, listen to, or comment on news.” News and the media is a vital part of social studies education today, which is why The Choices Program does our best to get current affairs content available […]

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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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Free Speech: From Skokie to Paris

Susannah Bechtel

On January 7, 2015, two gunmen attacked the Paris headquarters of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and killed twelve people. The attacks are presumed to be in response to several controversial cartoons that the magazine published depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The events have ignited a global debate on the topic of freedom of speech, explored […]

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Why is Nigeria important?

Danielle Johnstone

Choices recently released a Teaching with the News lesson on Nigeria and Boko Haram. In fact, Nigeria has been a country of interest in the Choices writers’ room this year—from this free lesson on the largest security threat faced by the country to inclusion as one of the key case studies in our soon-to-be-released full-length […]

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The United States, Iran, and Flipping the Coin on Nuclear Non-Proliferation

Danielle Johnstone

For many this November, anticipating the outcomes of soon-concluding nuclear negotiations with Iran seems impossible. The idea that we could only predict the resolution (or lack thereof) with a “coin toss” is complicated by this video by Joe Cirincione of the Ploughshares fund. This concept of the interdependence of nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament brings […]

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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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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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Update: Debating the U.S. Response to Syria

lmelliot@brown.edu

“When dictators commit atrocities, they depend upon the world to look the other way until those horrifying pictures fade from memory. But these things happened. The facts cannot be denied. The question now is what the United States of America, and the international community, is prepared to do about it.”       —President Obama […]

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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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The Drone Wars

Andy Blackadar

President Obama spoke today on an aspect of U.S. foreign policy that arose in the years after 9/11: the use of drones to attack suspected terrorists. Choices has a Teaching with the News lesson that helps students analyze the issues and controversies surrounding the U.S. use of drones. The lesson draws on three videos of Pulitzer Prize winning journalist […]

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Be Kennedy

Andy Blackadar

Fifty years ago the United States and the Soviet Union came uncomfortably close to launching a nuclear war. What was it like to be John F. Kennedy during the missile crisis? Our friends at the Armageddon Letters produced this short video and others to engage young people in an exploration of this important topic, a […]

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Maine Teachers Use Lesson for Innovative Project

Sarah Massey

Media coverage of pro-democracy protests across the Arab world – collectively known as the Arab Spring – has captured the world’s attention. Amy Sanders (Social Studies teacher) and Cathy Wolinsky (Instructional Technology Integrator) at Yarmouth High School in Yarmouth, Maine, seek classroom partners for a collaborative study of the Arab Spring. The project, modeled after […]

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