SPICE in Vietnam

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Photos (left to right): "Meeting with the director of Friendship Village, a non-profit dedicated to providing rehabilitative and educational services to young victims of Agent Orange;" "Dr. Moon visiting a classroom of students at Friendship Village who are suffering from the effects of Agent Orange. A volunteer is teaching basic arithmetic to one of the students."

SPICE curriculum consultants Rennie Moon (Stanford, PhD 2009, International Comparative Education) and Se-Woong Koo (Stanford, PhD Candidate, Religious Studies) recently traveled to Vietnam, August 25 – September 1, 2010, in preparation for the development of a comprehensive curriculum unit, "Legacies of the Vietnam War," for high schools in the U.S. and independent schools abroad. The unit, to be published in 2011, will cover a range of topics, including lessons on post-war politics and economics, the Vietnamese diaspora, environmental legacies of the war, artistic representations of the war, veterans' issues, Vietnamese Amerasians, and post-war U.S-Vietnam relations.

While in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Mr. Koo and Dr. Moon visited non-profits working with Agent Orange victims and landmine survivors, museums and contemporary art spaces, international schools, foreign companies operating within Vietnam's special industrial zones, and Viet Kieu-owned shops and businesses. During these visits, Mr. Koo and Dr. Moon interviewed scholars, veterans, teachers, company managers, art curators, and non-profit activists to compile updated information, materials, resources, and ideas for student activities to take into consideration while developing the unit.

SPICE director, Gary Mukai, is certain that the new unit will add significantly to students' awareness and knowledge of the legacies of the Vietnam War.  He commented that the unit will specifically address the U.S. History Standard 2C, "The student understands the foreign and domestic consequences of U.S. involvement in Vietnam."