Upcoming Research Expeditions

Openendedsocialstudies.org is pleased to announce that Thomas Kenning, founder and chief creative officer, will be undertaking several research expeditions in the coming months, all with the aim of producing new content and resources for this site.

In May, Mr. Kenning will be traveling to Moscow to participate in the annual Victory Day celebration. While there, he will be gathering information for further lessons in our proposed open source Russia textbook.

In June, Mr. Kenning will be in residence in the Philippines, developing a new curriculum unit on this fascinating syncretic culture.

Also in June, Mr. Kenning has scheduled a working trip to Tokyo with the aim of realizing long gestating plans for several lessons on the history and culture of Japan.

Finally, in July, Mr. Kenning returns to Cuba to complete work on new lessons documenting that nation’s colonial past.

Summer is traditionally the season that sees the most research and development at Openendedsocialstudies.org, and this is turning out to be one of our most exciting seasons yet!

 

 

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Want to be a better person? Travel can make it happen.

Mark Twain once wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.”

That is pretty much the sentiment upon which this entire site was founded, but did you know that there is science to back up that wonderful idea?

Check out some of ways in which travel can open up your world and sharpen your mind.

Travel really can make you a better person – why not use it to teach right in your own classroom with some of these great lesson ideas from Openendedsocialstudies?

  • Live From Moscow, 2018:
  • New Horizons in Peru and Bolivia, Travel Writing:
    • Adventure Blog.
    • A Guided Tour of Bolivia, 2016 – Explore the streets of La Paz and El Alto, scramble through the 500 year-old silver mines of Potosi, or race across the barren salt flats of Uyuni.  Supplementary photos and information on Bolivia, past and present.
    • A Guided Tour of Peru, 2016 – Explore the streets of Cusco and Lima, scramble through Inca ruins from Machu Picchu on down, take a slow boat up the Amazon River from Iquitos, and an even slower boat across Lake Titicaca to the floating man-made islands of the Uros.  Supplementary photos and information on Peru, past and present.
  • TEACH in Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, Travel Writing:
    • Adventure Blog.
    • A Guided Tour of the Gulf States is a curated photo essay.  Stroll the streets of Manama and Doha, ride to the top of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, witness the grandeur of Islamic architecture at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque before spending the evening dune bashing with high-paying tourists in the sands of Abu Dhabi.
  • An American in Cuba, Travel Writing:
  • A Guided Tour of Maya Mexico, 2017 – Explore the ruins of Ek’ Balam, Uxmal, and Chichen Itza, scramble through streets of colonial Merida, and sample the cuisine and culture of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.  Supplementary photos and information on the Yucatan, past and present.
  • Scenes from Cambodia, 2014 – supplementary photos to enhance a sense of place.
  • Scenes from China, 2015 – supplementary photos to enhance a sense of place.
  • Scenes from Nicaragua, 2015 – supplementary photos to enhance a sense of place.
  • A Guided Tour of Moscow, 2017 – Explore Red Square and Gorky Park, race through the Moscow Metro, and participate in the 2017 Victory Day celebrations commemorating the end of World War II.  Supplementary photos and information about Moscow, Russia.
  • Scenes from South Korea, 2015 – From the glistening towers of Seoul to the DMZ, from the bustle of downtown to the sanctuary of its Buddhist monasteries – supplementary photos to enhance a sense of place.

 

March 18, 2017: Havana, Cuba – The So-Called October Crisis

The commanding heights of Havana are controlled by two imposing forts on the east side of Havana Harbor.  They’re impossible to miss from the Malecon, and for nearly four hundred years, with the exception of a brief British interlude, they kept Havana safe as a rallying point for Spanish galleons laden with successive waves of Aztec, Inca, and native-mined riches.

Continue reading “March 18, 2017: Havana, Cuba – The So-Called October Crisis”

March 17, 2017: Havana, Cuba – Necropolis Cristobal Colon and Other Things Well-Named 

For the last three mornings, Yurien’s Mama and Papa have prepared and served a truly titanic breakfast – honestly enough to bring lesser men to their knees crying, “Mercy!”  Scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese, two kinds of sweet pastries, a heaping fruit plate of bananas, pineapple, and guava, bread, butter, mango marmalade, the blackest coffee you can imagine, and freshly pureed and chilled smoothie, all taken up on the roof of their little casa overlooking the sunrise on the most picturesque mogote.   Continue reading “March 17, 2017: Havana, Cuba – Necropolis Cristobal Colon and Other Things Well-Named “

July 15, 2016: The Lake at the Top of the World

I spent last night on the floor of Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport.  Now that Jasmine has gone home, I’ve pretty much given up on all of those silly frills and perks that girls like, like beds or showers.   Continue reading “July 15, 2016: The Lake at the Top of the World”