What ultimately motivates individuals to act? Material incentives (e.g. money, possessions, social position), or ideas (e.g. philosophy, education, belief systems, culture)? Is the answer to the question above a fixed part of “human nature,” or is it changeable?
What went wrong during the Great Leap Forward? How do you think the Communist Party should have adjusted its political structure, economic policy, and/or approach to culture as a result of the failure of the campaign?
How might your responses to the first and second questions relate?
Begin by individually examining the ten stations around the room that contain primary and secondary historical materials related to the Cultural Revolution. As you conduct your initial investigation, consider:
What connections do you seen between the panels? What trends do you see emerging?
How might you summarize the cause of the Cultural Revolution?
What factors might account for the chaos and violence that occurred during the initial phase of 1966-68?
Next, as a team, complete the following three tasks:
Create a basic timeline that pieces together a chronology for the events around the room.
Address the latter two questions above.
Identify potential avenues for future investigation.