Distributed September 20, 2001
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Kate Bramson

Choices for the 21st Century

High school curriculum promotes dialogue about recent terrorist attacks

Brown University’s Choices for the 21st Century Education Project has created curricular materials for high school teachers to help them discuss policy direction in the aftermath of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. The material is available on the Web at www.choices.edu/Sept11/top.html.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — As high school teachers seek ways to engage their students in discussions about the recent terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., a program at Brown University is offering curricular materials designed to present a broad range of perspectives for the high school classroom.

The Choices for the 21st Century Education Project, a program of the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies, has posted the material on its website and is encouraging its use by teachers and anyone else who may find the material helpful.

The Choices Project is a well-established source for balanced curricular materials that promote critical discussion of contested issues. Its material is used in secondary-level classrooms in more than 5,000 schools in all 50 states. The material developed in response to the recent terrorist attacks has been sent to 2,200 teachers throughout the country who already use Choices material in their classrooms. While the Choices Project typically sells its curricular material, staff members are encouraging broader use by offering this material free of charge on the Web at www.choices.edu/Sept11/top.html.

Each Choices curriculum unit is designed to help students think about divergent policy alternatives, each driven by different underlying values, each with pros and cons, risks and tradeoffs, according to Susan Graseck, director of the Choices Project. The Project has developed its most recent material because staff members believe that the coming weeks will be a time of heightened public debate in the United States. Project staff members intend these materials to help make that debate well-informed.

The material available on the Internet includes question-and-answer sessions with research scholars from the Watson Institute. Among the issues those researchers address are the recent discussions about America being “at war” and what this sort of war might look like, why there appears to be so much resentment against the United States, how we might think about this event in the context of American history, and whether these attacks will change life in the United States forever.

For additional information, contact Graseck at (401) 863-3155 or by e-mail at [email protected].