The Choices Blog

History and Current Issues for the Classroom

Tag: Scholars Online (page 2 of 2)

New in Scholars Online: Charles Tripp

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 of what happened at that meeting, in response to our question, “Do you think that British and U.S. leaders had a good understanding of Iraqi history when they decided to go to war?”.

This video is part of the Scholars Online collection for A Global Controversy: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq. See the other videos from this interview here.

Thirteen Days: More than One Option

There’s a scene in the movie Thirteen Days when the actor playing Bobby Kennedy shouts, “No! No! No! There’s more than one option here.”

The film isn’t perfect, but it really does capture a sense of the tension and drama of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Arguably it’s a great way to introduce high school students to this critical moment in history.

The noted historian Ernest R. May agreed: “Thirteen Days is not a substitute for history. No one should see the movie expecting to learn exactly what happened. But the film comes close enough to truth that I will not be unhappy if it is both a big success now and a video store staple for years to come, with youths in America and around the world getting from it their first impressions of what was probably the greatest international crisis in all of human experience.”

I would hope that the drama of the film would raise some key questions. How did it come to that point? And how did we avoid destroying ourselves? How can we avoid nuclear war?

Choices has produced curriculum resources for high school classrooms on The Cuban Missile Crisis that allow them to explore those questions in depth. The resources include printed materials that reflect the best scholarship and culminate in students reviewing primary sources and then recreating the debate in the ExComm about the U.S. response. They’ll see and advocate for the options Bobby Kennedy was shouting for in the movies. The resources also include a series of videos with Sergei Khrushchev, as well as Jim Blight and janet Lang, whose groundbreaking work on the crisis have made important contributions to what we know about how dangerous the crisis really was.

New in Scholars Online: Senator Jack Reed

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 for our upcoming unit, A Global Controversy: The U.S. Invasion of Iraq, to be published this summer.

Economic Literacy


Since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008, The Choices Program has received numerous requests to develop curriculum materials for high school classrooms about international economics, the global financial system, competing economic theories, etc. Creating curriculum is a challenging process regardless of the topic, but the general lack of coverage of economics information in high school makes it a steeper slope to climb. Introducing students to what, for many, is a completely new academic discipline is a daunting task.

What did we do?

Step 1: Ask an Expert

Choices started with an expert on the international political economy. We sat down at the Watson Institute to do an interview with Professor Mark Blyth about some of the economic principles behind the globalized economy.

Step 2: Use New Media to Clarify Information

Choices used new media and animations to help emphasize and illustrate the points Blyth makes during his interview.

Step 3: Connect the Expert with High School Classrooms

Choices has a long-standing mission to bring high quality content on international issues to high school classrooms.

Blyth’s videos on the global economy accompany International Trade: Competition and Cooperation in a Globalized World. Blyth also took the leading role in Austerity, an editorial video produced by The Watson Institute—worth watching if you haven’t seen it yet.

New in Scholars Online: Robert Lee

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 to see more videos from this interview, which can be used with our unit, U.S. Immigration Policy in an Unsettled World.

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