PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — As high school teachers in Rhode Island settle into the new normal of remote teaching, the Choices Program at Brown University is assisting by offering digital teaching materials at no cost.
Through the end of the state’s school year in June, while students and teachers remain home to stem the spread of COVID-19, the program — which is part of Brown’s history department — is offering free digital editions of all history and current issues teaching materials to high school teachers in Rhode Island. The intent is to help educators who may be new to virtual learning and confronting the unexpected challenges of converting classroom-based lessons into digital discussions and assignments.
"Teachers face many challenges, even in ordinary times,” said Andy Blackadar, director of curriculum development at the Choices Program. “When COVID-19 hit, we all wanted to help teachers and our community in any way that we could. This is a way we could contribute to fighting this pandemic."
For more than three decades, the Choices Program has been developing teaching materials for high schools and some middle schools in collaboration with researchers at Brown and other leading scholars. It currently offers 37 social sciences curriculum units spanning such topics as the Syrian civil war, the international history of genocide and the political and historical issues surrounding climate change. Each unit contains five to nine lessons and is intended to cover about 10 class periods. Throughout all of its educational materials, the Choices Program encourages teachers to cover history in an inclusive way, to make connections between the past and the challenges of today, and to emphasize student engagement.