Viewing Vietnam War From Local Perspective

Contributor :

Matthew David Williams

Action Plan

In addition to scheduled war-related tours, I will make time to visit historical sites in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, including the Army Museum, War Crimes Museum, and Reunification Palace. I will also ask locals about the conflict. I will take pictures during my trip to use in my observation-inference lessons.

Pre-Departure Preparation

I am a US history teacher, so the primary reason I am going on this trip is to learn more about a part of the world that is closely associated with 1960s-1970s America and to see how the Vietnamese and Cambodians view the Vietnam War. In my opinion, two of the most important things the Social Studies should teach are perspective and empathy. My goal is that the trip will enrich my unit on Cold War America and better teach my students about the Vietnam War - how the people of Vietnam and Cambodia interpret the war and remember it in museums, monuments, street names, etc. vs. how we, in the US, remember it through the same media. Also, how Vietnamese cultural values differ from American and how this difference created conflict. I will accomplish this by utilizing photographs and resources from my trip to create a group of observation-inference lessons/activities as well as improving a decision-making simulation (on whether or not the US should have got involved in Vietnam) I already use in the classroom.

Preparation During Travel

I will research significant war monuments to see and museums to visit in Vietnam.