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ERIC Number: EJ781105
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Researching the Viet Nam War inside Viet Nam: U.S. Student Teachers Explore War Myths
Vadas, Robert E.
Social Education, v71 n7 p389-394 Nov-Dec 2007
The author asserts that it is time for social studies teachers to engage students in a review of the rift between historical reality and mythology about Viet Nam, especially in light of recent comparisons that many have made between the Viet Nam War and the current situation in Iraq. Few teachers dealt with Viet Nam at the time of the war, and those who did had limited resources. Frances Fitzgerald reported that the few texts even mentioning Viet Nam "floundered" in their discussions of the war with omissions or inaccurate reports. James Loewen seconded that interpretation, adding that public school texts try to avoid controversy and ignore key Vietnamese geographical, historical and cultural issues when they cover the war. The reasons for this have been identified as: the war's controversial nature; the lack of credible information in textbooks and other resources; a lack of class time; and administrations opting to keep controversy out of classrooms. To expose students to the historical and cultural realities of a war that has defied understanding, the author developed a travel program to Viet Nam, believing that it would bring to life concepts taught in history and social studies methods courses. In this article, the author discusses the "The Viet Nam Travel Program" which has been in operation since 1999 to the present time. The program requires students to take seminars prior to leaving. Students are matched with Vietnamese professors to assist in understanding the many cultural and logistical realities and to direct students toward resources for their research. (Contains 2 tables and 13 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street 500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States; Vietnam