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ERIC Number: ED463236
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Mar
Pages: 98
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-1-891306-45-6
Shifting Sands: Balancing U.S. Interests in the Middle East. Teacher's Resource Book [and Student Text]. Public Policy Debate in the Classroom. Choices for the 21st Century.
Blackadar, Andy
This teacher's resource book and student text are part of a continuing series on current and historical international issues, placing special emphasis on the importance of educating students in their participatory role as citizens. For the U.S. population, the oil resources of the Persian Gulf, attachment to Israel, and fears about terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction have made the Middle East an increasingly critical area of U.S. involvement. This curriculum unit analyzes the mix of interests and values that have drawn the U.S. into the Middle East. Students are asked to consider the principles and assumptions driving the U.S.'s presence there. At the core of the unit is a framework of four distinct options for U.S. policy toward the Middle East. The background reading prepares students to consider the complexities of the U.S.'s relationship with the Middle East. Part one surveys the history of the nation's involvement in the Middle East up to the Persian Gulf War. Part two examines the rise of political Islam and the critical issues that surfaced after the Persian Gulf War. The teacher's resource book contains a day-by-day lesson plan and student activities. It includes a study of U.S. policy during the final weeks of the Shah's rule over Iran; calls on students to assume the roles of key Middle Eastern leaders in evaluating U.S. impact on the Middle East; engages students in a simulation where they act as advocates for the four options; and has students apply their own recommendations for U.S. policy to three hypothetical regional crises. An alternative three-day lesson plan is also included. The student unit is divided into two parts: (1) "America's Role in the Middle East"; and (2) "Weighing U.S. Priorities in the Middle East." Four options are offered for students to explore in the unit: (1) "Police a Rough Neighborhood"; (2) "Keep Our Eye on the Prize"; (3) "Promote Western Values"; and (4) "Break Free of Entanglements." A supplementary reading and a list of nine other readings are attached. (BT)
Choices Education Program, Watson Institute for International Studies, P.O. Box 1948, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912 ($15 per teacher/student set). Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Learner; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Students; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Brown Univ., Providence, RI. Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Inst. for International Studies.