One of the most effective teaching techniques centers around one simple word: context.
I find that one different concepts are placed in context, and the inter-relation between them are explore, that students just tend to “get it” better. And nothing brings history to life more tellingly than by placing it in contextual form. And that’s exactly where Country Studies gets it right.
Put together by the Library of Congress, Country Studies presents an analysis and description of over 100 countries, examining their historical settings, as well as their social, political, economic, and national security systems and institutions. This site brings it all together in a fresh way, giving students a complete and fresh perspective.
Let’s see what Country Studies does with Laos:
After a brief country profile, Country Studies dives into detailed essays divided into sections that include geography, society, economy, transportation and communications, government and politics and national security. We’re taking through Laos early history, including its Mongol influence, its developments during the 19th century, its pre- and post-World War II transformations, and its independence and strides towards neutrality.
We’re then treated to Laos geographical landscape, exploring such topics as its topography, population, rural life, urban society, religion, eduction, health and welfare, and future trends. Next up is Laos’ economic makeup, including agriculture and forestry, crops and farming systems, fishing, and other industries. Next a detailed look at its global public finance status and its financial sector, including the country’s balance of payments such as its foreign trade exports and imports, its trade partners and policy and its foreign exchange rate. The subsequent chapter is on national security, which includes a a raw, unflinching section on the country’s criminal justice system, and particular narcotics and counternarcotics issues.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a more comprehensive and contextual treatment on world history than you’ll find at Country Studies. It’s definitely worth the trip for anyone who has not been able to enjoy the experience yet. We feel it is one of the best ways to spend your time. Many who make the trip regularly obviously feel the same way. If you have a bucket list, this belongs on it. A wonder look at the deeper side of what has been. This will enrich every aspect of your life. It will give you a totally different outlook on life and allow you to see how some of the things we take for granted are anything but commonplace. It was only through hard work and great effort that these things have been brought to fruition. It takes a long look at a culture in every aspect to come to see the big picture. We like to think that is what you can gain though our vision.