Distributed August 18, 2000
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Janet Kerlin

Choices for the 21st Century

Brown summer program trains teachers in world affairs curriculum

Nine teachers from across the country participated in Brown University’s Choices for the 21st Century Teaching Fellows Program, a summer institute that provides training in a curriculum designed to engage secondary school students in debate on international public policy issues.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Nine educators from middle schools and high schools across the country received training at Brown University in a curriculum that challenges students to roll up their sleeves and examine choices confronting the United States about its role in the world.

The curriculum, developed by Brown University’s Choices for the 21st Century Education Project, helps students explore and debate such topics as “U.S. Immigration Policy in an Unsettled World” and “Crisis, Conscience and Choices: Weimar Germany and the Rise of Hitler.” Students are assigned contrasting points of view, then challenged to defend their designated policy against other points of view.

During the nine-day summer institute, July 5-13, teachers learned about resources they can use and adapt for their classrooms. They also played roles students will take during classroom sessions and they learned how lead workshops to train other teachers in their communities. Brown faculty member Jarat Chopra addressed participants on “East Timor: A Case Study,” and another faculty member, Jim Blight, spoke on “The Vietnam War and Its Legacy – Lessons Learned.”

Those nine educators are now available to conduct professional development for other teachers in their regions. Three teachers of those teachers received additional training to become leaders in a statewide program called The Capitol Forum on America’s Future.

The Choices for the 21st Century Education Project is part of Brown University’s Watson institute for International Studies. Choices is an educational program that seeks to engage the American public – student and adult – in consideration of international issues and strengthen the quality of civic life in the United States. Choices curricular materials are used in more than 4,500 schools nationwide. For more information, visit the Choices web page (www.choices.edu) or call director Susan Graseck (401) 863-3155.