Learning Modules

Below are links providing easy and fast access to learning modules that investigate the events and mindsets that turned Southeast Asia into a major theater of World War II. These were developed through a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for School Teachers that was organized and offered by the East-West Center.

We invite teachers and learners to explore these modules to uncover why Southeast Asia was at the crossroads of war; to identify past, present, and possible future implications; and to better understand the indelible connections between history and individuals, nations, and regions.

Please note that any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these modules do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the East-West Center.

The Making of 20th Century Southeast Asia

This module sets the stage for the events leading to World War II by tracing the role of both the Japanese and Western powers in Southeast Asia beginning in the 16th century.

World War II and the Philippines

This module focuses on the Communist movement known as the Hukbalahap (or Huks), which was initially formed in 1942 to resist the Japanese occupation, and had many post-war implications in the Philippines.

In the Shadows: Prisoners of War Stories

This module focuses on the situation relating to the Allied prisoners of war to create some understanding of what it must have been like to have been a prisoner of war.

Decoding Primary Sources Using DBQs

In this module educators can explore the use of Document-based questions (DBQs), which can be used by teachers to engage students in interpreting historical records.