Education About Asia: Online Archives

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

NOTE: Archive articles may be downloaded and reproduced for personal or classroom use only.

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 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

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

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

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.

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...

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...

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...

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.

Feature Article

East Asia and the National Geography Standards

By Ronald G. Knapp Many questions are asked by teachers, including veterans with years of classroom experience, as they approach new subject matter and unfamiliar academic disciplines: What resources are available for me as I develop unit and lesson plans? What materials are available for my students? What teaching strategies are most effective in helping students learn? Are there national or state standards that provide a guide, and how can I align my teaching to them? New and experienced teac...

Columns, Curriculum Materials Review

The Role of Education in US-South Korean Relations: A Modified Excerpt from the Curriculum Unit US-South Korean Relations

This lesson examines the important role that education plays in the cultural and social relationship between the United States and South Korea. Students will also learn about education in Korea and complete independent projects on various education-related topics. Ultimately, students will consider how this aspect of the US–South Korean relationship has influenced the individual lives of Koreans and Americans. (Note: The full lesson introduces the important roles of sports, media, and the arts...

Columns, Essay

International Teaching Jobs: Focus upon Asia

Without a doubt, teaching in American and international schools overseas for seven years provided the most rewarding personal and professional experiences of my life. I answered a newspaper ad and obtained my first position, but now, international teacher and administrator recruitment is more sophisticated and competitive. In the essay that follows, a number of job-hunting tips and helpful resources are provided for those who seek international elementary and secondary positions. Although a su...

Feature Article

Japan’s Schools: Myths, Realities, and Comparisons with the United States

In the 1980s, when the Japanese economy was booming, debates over educational reform in the United States seemed often to start in Japan. The Japanese economy was outperforming the US economy because Japanese schools were outperforming our schools, or so the argument went until their economy collapsed. When the US economy eventually rebounded, no one cited our educational system as a source of its recovery, and the connection between education and the economy was forgotten. During the decade...

Book Review, Resources

The Rise of Modern Japan

CURRICULUM RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT GROUP UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII PRESS, 2003 274 PAGES. HARDCOVER ISBN: 0-8248-2531-4 It’s amazing how, post-9/11, the great cultural debate over whether or not we need a global curriculum has just gone away. We need one, and it’s hard to find anyone who still wants to argue that European and American history are sufficient for American students. But where are the teachers with the background to teach non-Western classes? And where are the resources to help t...

Book Review, Resources

The Japanese Model of Schooling: Comparisons with the United States

NEW YORK: ROUTLEDGE FALMER, 2001 190 PAGES + APPENDIX + BIBLIOGRAPHY + INDEX HARDCOVER, ISBN: 0815336411 Since the American Occupation of Japan (1945– 52), international recognition of Japanese education has grown tremendously. The academic success and discipline of Japanese students have warranted further investigation into the Japanese education system and deemed it a worthy model. Yet, as Ryoko Tsuneyoshi, author of The Japanese Model of Schooling, submits, Japanese education is not with...

EAA Interview, Resources

EAA Interview with Buchanan Prize Winners Linda K. Menton, Noren W. Lush, Eileen H. Tamura, and Chance I. Gusukuma

EDITOR’S NOTE This is our seventh interview with the winners of the Franklin R. Buchanan Prize. The Association for Asian Studies awards the prize annually for the development of outstanding curriculum materials on Asia. Linda K. Menton, Noren W. Lush, Eileen H. Tamura, and Chance I. Gusukuma won the 2003 prize for the development of The Rise of Modern Japan. The authors of this outstanding work are all affiliated with the Curriculum Research & Development Group, an organized research unit...

Essay, Resources

Choosing a Foreign Language for the Future: Or, the Need for American Students to Study an Asian Language in College

Thirty years of employment as a college professor have led me to anticipate weekly that one or two students will ask me what language is best to study in college and why. The essence of this question is: What language will be most important in my future? Since studying a foreign language requires a considerable commitment in terms of time and energy and may even become a lifetime endeavor, this matter deserves careful consideration. Learning a language spoken by a large and/or an increasin...

Book Review Essay, Resources

National Standards and School Reform in Japan and the United States

Edited by Gary DeCoker New York, Teachers College Press, 2002 218 Pages. Paperback. ISBN: 0-8077-4200-7 Since A Nation at Risk was published in 1983, Japan has become a standard from which to compare education in the U.S. and Japan. Aspects of Japan’s educational system have been brandished as solutions for perceived educational problems in the U.S. Looking at Japan, some have suggested that we increase the number of hours in school or the length of the school day. Others have argued fo...

Essay, Resources

Clearinghouse Invites Educators to Explore Resources for Teaching about Japan

The National Clearinghouse for U.S.-Japan Studies specializes in providing educational information about Japan to K–12 students, teachers, specialists, and curriculum developers. Indeed, service, coupled with a sincere dedication to helping individuals find reliable information about Japan, underlies all Clearinghouse activities. Its publications are complimentary and its Web site provides access to the U.S.-Japan Database of educational materials and the Lesson Plan Database. Established in 1...

Columns, Film Review

South Korea: From Illiteracy to Affluence

This video, which chronicles the history of education in Korea since 1945, offers important lessons for all Americans, especially for our elected officials. A production of the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank, the video makes a convincing case for why South Korea’s investment in its citizens through education is a major factor in the nation’s spectacular growth since the 1960s....

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