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Choices Curriculum Units from the Choices Program
Grade level: 9-12
Choices curriculum materials are used in a range of courses including U.S. history, world history, global studies, and government. Teachers choose the unit that aligns with their curriculum plan. The Choices materials include extensive background readings and a role-play or simulation exercise that encourages students to apply their knowledge in an authentic setting.
Curricular materials incorporate the latest scholarship to make connections between historical events and contemporary global issues. At the heart of each unit is a range of contrasting policy options. By exploring a spectrum of alternatives, students are better able to articulate their own views on pressing international issues.
Building on its current work in civic and international education, the Choices Program is collaborating with the state departments of education and key civic and international education organizations in Indiana and Maine on a three-year initiative to build links between educators focused on civic learning and those focused on international affairs. Working together and drawing on curriculum resources that are content-rich and that include authentic decision-making experiences, these organizations seek to join international and civic education and integrate this into the core curriculum in these states. In addition, they will articulate this as a potential model for use by other states interested in integrating civic and international education within the core social studies curriculum.
The deliberation process the students engage in is at the heart of every unit. Students are challenged to understand multiple perspectives, not debate them. The fact that they are randomly "assigned" an option or future in the curriculum units means they must learn that perspective in depth. Later in the lesson they are asked to articulate their own feelings by writing a "Future 5" or their own option.
In addition to formative internal evaluation throughout the project, an extensive external research study is being launched to measure the immediate and longer-term impact that classroom deliberation concerning international issues has on students' knowledge, civic skills, and participative dispositions. At the conclusion of the project, a report will be developed and disseminated to decision-makers in state departments of education, state legislatures, state and national educational organizations, professional networks, and the media in the participating states and nationally. Longitudinal data will continue to be collected after the three-year grant period.
Choices curriculum units, available at www. choices.edu
http://www.choices.edu for curriculum units and "Teaching with the News" free downloadable materials
KIDS Consortium offers several professional development opportunities throughout the year. Check our website or go to the Choices website (NB: the Choices site may not list a comprehensive list of opportunities in Maine but will list opportunities throughout the country)
215Lisbon Street, Suite 12
Choices for the 21st Century Education Program
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