Education About Asia

(culture, history, art, marriage, etc...)

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Feature Article

International Engagement Through Experiential Learning: Southeast Asian Case Studies

Our world today is defined by rapid and pervasive connections, whether in our globally interlinked economic systems and financial networks, the movement of goods and services, or the interactions of people and communities. Technological advances are further facilitating and expanding these connections, providing multiple platforms for sharing information, ideas, and innovations while collapsing boundaries and distances. Technology is also changing the ways we think about friendship, culture, com...

Facts About Asia

Facts About Asia: Asia and Education

India’s Educational System: Challenges Two-hundred sixty million children attend primary and secondary schools in India. Secondary school attendance (69 percent of eligible children) lags behind that of China (96 percent). Primary school enrolment is nearly universal. Half of fifth-grade pupils (ten-year-olds) cannot read a story designed for second graders and only a quarter can do simple division. A rough analysis of PISA test results (2009) from fifteen-year-olds in the states of Hima...

Book Review, Online Supplement

South Asia in World History (New Oxford World History): Reviewed by Rachel Ball-Phillips

Writing world history is a daunting task. World historians continue to struggle with how to write effective survey world history texts for use in the classroom. The New Oxford World History series is an ambitious project that emphasizes “connectedness and interactions of all kinds—cultural, economic, political, religious, and social—involving peoples, places and processes” (viii). By situating South Asia within a broader global context from the Indus Valley Civilization to present, Marc ...

NCTA Teaching Resources Essay, Online Supplement

AP Art History and Chinese Art

The AP art history curriculum identifies 250 works students are required to know, spanning 20,000 years of history and cultures across the globe. The list includes thirty works of Asian art. I teach in a rural fringe district and am committed to giving my students “equal access” to non-Western artistic traditions, and have taken several courses with NCTA, including the 2011 China study tour. My study tour began with Shanghai at night (with its river of lights), the gardens at Hangzhou, Ch...

Film Review Essay

Around India with a Movie Camera: Film Review Essay by Coonoor Kripalani

This seventy-two-minute silent documentary film, spliced together and edited by director Sandhya Suri from archival British Film Institute (BFI) clips, cleverly juxtaposes scenes of the daily lives of Indians with that of the activities of the British. Some sections are from news footage, while large parts are drawn from family movies shot by expatriate families, giving the film its greatest value. It provides a firsthand look at how the colonialists lived and how they viewed the empire in India...

EAA Interview

Key Issues in Asian Studies: Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture: A Short Interview with Kathleen M. Adams

Key Issues in Asian Studies (KIAS) books complement Education About Asia and are succinct, well-written, practical resources for university, college, and high school instructors and students. Indonesia, long important in Southeast Asia, now has a global impact and for a variety of reasons deserves more attention in higher education, as well as secondary schools. The archipelago’s significance notwithstanding, Professor Kathleen Adams has authored a highly readable good story about the peoples ...

Book Review Essay

To Live (Revisited)

Editor’s Note: In the winter 2003 issue of EAA (vol. 8, no. 3), To Live was extensively featured with reviews of the novel and film adaptation as well as an interview with the novel’s author, Yu Hua. The significant success of the novel and film warrants reintroducing To Live to new readers. Since its publication, Yu Hua’s novel To Live has been popular in China and around the world. It was first published in China in 1993 and immediately became a national bestseller. When it was transl...

Book Review Essay

The Fourth String: A Memoir of Sensei and Me

A young native English speaker goes to Japan to earn money to pay her debts. This is not an unusual beginning for the “foreigner discovers Japan” memoir. But shortly after Janet Pocorobba settles into her new life, it takes a surprising turn when a friend points out an ad in an English-language publication: “Free lesson in shamisen and singing! Take something home with you from your stay in Japan!” (60). In September 1996, Pocorobba responds to that ad and meets Sensei, as she calls the...

Teaching Resources Essay

Population Trends and Issues: Bangladesh

A discussion of the possibilities available for having students use data sources beyond the textbook to explore Bangladesh’s demographic challenges. In demographic studies, much discussion in academic circles centers around either the challenges faced by aging populations in places such as Japan, Germany, or Italy, or the impacts of pronatal and antinatal policies (policies meant to increase or decrease birthrate), such as China’s One-Child Policy or Australia’s Baby Bonus. With a popul...

Teaching Resources Essay

Graduate School Confidential: Misguided First Impressions of Japanese Preschools

I started graduate school in 1980 after living in Japan for four years. In my second semester, a nearby college held a colloquium for business and community leaders in Detroit, Michigan, on “What We Can Learn From Japan.” They asked me to talk about Japanese education, specifically high achievement test scores. There wasn’t much scholarship available on Japanese education then, but after an extensive card catalog search at the University of Michigan library, I discovered some Japanese g...

Teaching Resources Essay

Leading a Short-Term Study Trip for Students in Japan

The best way for students to study the history, culture, and livelihoods of another country is through an organized in-country experience. There are various benefits that can accrue through such an endeavor. One can learn about a part of the world away from home while at the same time gaining a deeper appreciation of one’s own culture by looking at it from the outside. Ideally, a student will spend a full semester or year studying abroad, but that is a luxury that many cannot afford in terms o...

Teaching Resources Essay

The Great Courses: Books that Matter: The Analects of Confucius

“Imagine a world,” author/narrator Professor Robert André LaFleur suggests, “in which the gift of a book could change your life forever. Imagine a world in which you didn’t just read, but read, reread, read again, and lived a book.” This is the dynamic instruction that drives twenty-four half-hour lectures on Confucius and the Analects for listeners/viewers who are new to, or even those well-acquainted with, the teachings of one of China’s greatest thinkers and educators. The Ana...

Feature Article

Reading Beyond the Curriculum Fostering Communities of L2 Chinese and Japanese Learners

Editor’s Note: L1 refers to a first, or native language. L2 refers to a person’s second language that is not the native language (first language or L1) of the speaker, but is learned later either as a foreign language or another language used in the speaker’s home country. Reading need not be a solitary or passive activity, and indeed we have found that active, communal reading can be both productive and pleasurable for students. In this article, we discuss how our respective reading gr...

Feature Article

Science Education in Singapore and the US: An Interview with Michael Lowry

In the following interview, conducted as part of an East Asia STEM teaching module developed by Maranda Wilkinson for the UTC Asia Program (https://tinyurl.com/y3oepewy), Maranda questioned Michael Lowry on his studies of the Singaporean science education system as a 2016 Fulbright Fellow focusing on comparisons of science education in Singapore and the US.

Feature Article

Thai Buddhist Monastic Schools and Universities

A collection of three essays by authors with extensive knowledge of Thai Buddhist Monastic Schools: "Buddhist Education and Temple Schools in Thailand" by Brooke Schedneck; "An Overview of MCU Chiang Mai Campus" by Samran Khansamrong; and "Teaching in the English Program at MCU, Chiang Mai Campus" by Steve Epstein.

Feature Article

Children’s Rights in Japan’s Schools

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is a human rights treaty that sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health, and cultural rights of children. It was adopted without dissent by the UN General Assembly on November 20th, 1989, and was swiftly ratified by almost all member states. Japan ratified it in 1994. The convention is based upon the so-called “three p’s”: children’s needs for a balance of “provision,” “protection,” and “participatio...

Feature Article

The China Survey Course in the Age of STEM

Assistant professors in humanities fields are facing new enrollment pressures as humanities majors are shifting to majors with more concrete job prospects. A beginning history professor made a careful examination of reliable statistics on college majors in 2018 that revealed, “A lower share of newly graduated Americans earn humanities degrees today than did so in 1970 or 1990.” (note 1) The reason for the decline was explained by the perceived lack of job prospects, especially in the four hu...

Feature Article

Beyond the Spoon-Feeding Classroom: A Jesuit Priest’s Use of Outings as Holistic Education

When Reverend Father Harold Naylor (1931–2018), of the Society of Jesus, passed away in October 2018, his funeral mass attracted an attendance of 1,000 at Wah Yan College, Kowloon, in Hong Kong, where he had devoted more than four decades of his life. Many alumni, as well as friends, in the nearby parish took time off from work to bid him farewell. At least three local daily newspapers published coverage on the funeral mass, clearly an exceedingly rare phenomenon. In 1993, Fr. Naylor had an...

Feature Article

The Journey to the West: A Platform for Learning about China Past and Present

In US college students’ first course on China, the challenge for instructors is to pack the maximum amount of punch into the experience so that the course will inspire them to seek more opportunities to learn about China at and beyond the college level. One way to achieve this goal is to use a rich text with many applications to help students unpack the complexities of Chinese history, language, politics, economics, and thought. For this purpose, the sixteenth-century novel The Journey to the ...

Feature Article

Chinese Schools and Students—1985–2015: My Reflections

On my first visit to a Chinese high school in March 1985, I received a tour starting in the courtyard, where a PE class was in session. The students at the front of the rows were doing their jumping jacks with full energy. The students at the back were barely going through the motions. “This is totally familiar,” I said to myself.