Education About Asia: Online Archives

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

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Feature Article

An EAA Interview with the 2019 Franklin R. Buchanan Prizewinner Michael A. Fuller for An Introduction to Chinese Poetry: From the Canon of Poetry to the Lyrics of the Song Dynasty

This is our twenty-third consecutive interview with the recipient of the AAS Franklin R. Buchanan Prize. This year’s winner is Michael A. Fuller, who is the author of An Introduction to Chinese Poetry: From the Canon of Poetry to the Lyrics of the Song Dynasty. The textbook for learning classical Chinese poetry moves beyond the traditional anthology of poems translated into English and instead brings readers―including those with no knowledge of Chinese―as close as possible to the texture o...

Feature Article

Twentieth-Century Chinese Entrepreneurs before 1949: Literature Excerpts for the Classroom

China has amazed the world with its rapid economic growth during the past four decades. Since 2010, China has passed Japan to become the world’s second-largest economy behind the United States. (note 1) By 2018, 111 Chinese companies had joined the Fortune Global 500 list, (note 2) and 373 individuals had made the Forbes Billionaires list. (note 3) How do we understand the recent success of the Chinese economy and Chinese businessmen? If there are continuities in modern Chinese history, can we...

Book Review Essay, Feature Article

Franklin R. Buchanan Prize Book Review Essay

An Introduction to Chinese Poetry: From the Canon of Poetry to the Lyrics of the Song Dynasty Harvard East Asian Monographs (Book 408) Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2018 496 pages, ISBN: 978-0674983885, Paperback Michael Fuller’s An Introduction to Chinese Poetry: From the Canon of Poetry to the Lyrics of the Song Dynasty is a complete joy to read. Winner of the Franklin R. Buchanan Prize for Curricular Materials, Fuller’s volume has achieved recognition as a pedagogical wo...

Online Supplement

Handouts for “Twentieth-Century Chinese Entrepreneurs before 1949: Literature Excerpts for the Classroom”

Editor’s Note: This handout is to be used with Juanjuan Peng, “Twentieth-Century Chinese Entrepreneuers before 1949: Literature Excerpts for the Classroom” from the winter 2019 issue of Education About Asia beginning on p.11. Handout A: Excerpt from “The Shop of the Lin Family,” by Mao Dun, trans. Sidney Shapiro Introduction: In September 1931, Japan invaded and soon acquired the Manchurian region of China. On January 18, 1932, five Japanese monks were beaten severely near Shanghai...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

The Nomads of the Steppe: Resources for Teachers

The nomadic pastoralists of the inner Asian steppe had an impact on history out of all proportion to their small population. The cultures and politics of societies across Asia experienced profound change at their hands. China presents a good example of this phenomenon. The nomads on the steppe posed a perennial challenge to the Chinese political structure, making management of the nomads always one of the chief concerns of every Chinese dynasty. The Great Wall of China is the most famous dem...

Book Review Essay, Key Issues in Asian Studies, Resources

Key Issues in Asian Studies: “Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture”

With her contribution to the Key Issues in Asian Studies series—INDONESIA: History, Heritage, Culture— Kathleen M. Adams has maintained and even enhanced its well-established reputation for quality. Writing a brief yet comprehensive book is challenging because specialists must restrain themselves from delving too far into their area of expertise. Instead of presenting an in-depth look at the specific, they must focus on engaging intelligent but uninformed readers so they can grasp the basics...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

EngageAsia: An Entrepreneurial Approach to Creating Transnational Communities

EngageAsia (www.engageasia.org), a New York-based 501(c)(3) non- profit with the mission of building community in the Asia–Pacific through education, was born out of a need for a new organization with Asia-focused teacher professional development at its core, through intensive discussions between its cofounders and inaugural board, and on culling best practices from years of working with US–Japan teacher professional development programs. Most importantly, the creation of this new organizati...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching China Through the Lens of Girls’ and Women’s Lives

Illiterate paternal grandparents raised Jin Shan, a teenage girl living in rural China. Her parents, unable to afford milk for their child, had no choice but to become migrant workers when Shan was seven months old. Shan remained behind with her grandparents, who farmed in the town of Xixiashu in Jiangsu Province, and did not live with her parents again until the age of ten. Shan’s experience was not unusual. In fact, it was anything but rare. Her story places her among millions of “left-...

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...

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...

EAA Interview

EAA Interview with Graeme Freeman: Interviewed by Lynn Parisi

[caption id="attachment_7028" align="alignleft" width="286"] Graeme Freeman. Source: Photo courtesy of the Freeman Foundation.[/caption] In 1978, Mansfield Freeman, an American who spent much of his life in China and who helped found the company that later became American International Group, Inc. (AIG), established a trust whose primary mission would be to create a foundation that would facilitate the development of mutual understanding among Americans and East Asians. Since then, the Freema...

NCTA Teaching Resources Essay, Resources

Challenging the Textbook to Develop Historical Thinking: Inquiry Lessons on the Mongol Invasions and Meiji Japan

Developing lessons and units of study in the current social studies climate requires finding an entry point with a topic that will facilitate an inquiry. One such entry point can be challenging textbook accounts. In Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen describes many of the problems with history textbooks and indicates a need to stop using textbooks as the authoritative source.1 Teaching students how to assess a source’s reliability and usefulness, including textbooks, is a key historical thi...

Feature Article

My Students and Asia: Then and Now

[caption id="attachment_7187" align="alignleft" width="300"] Berea College. Source: Photo courtesy of the author. See endnote 2 for sources for information above. Berea College charges no tuition and admits only academically promising students, primarily from southern Appalachia, who lack the economic means to pay for an elite liberal arts college education. Ninety-six percent of Berea’s first-year students are eligible for federal Pell Grants, which typically go to students whose family incom...

Feature Article

Collaboration and Plenty: Supporting Teachers’ Learning (and Unlearning) about East Asia

In this article, we share insights from our work as teacher educators leading National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) workshops, funded by the Freeman Foundation through Indiana University’s coordinating site. Recent workshops have been on both premodern and modern East Asian history. We focus on two areas in particular: collaboration and curricular abundance. Ultimately, we argue that teacher professional development is most effective when it directly confronts trends that have ma...

Book Review Essay

Understanding China through Comics, Volume 2 Division to Unification in Imperial China: The Three Kingdoms to the Tang Dynasty (220–907). Reviewed by Karl R. Neumann

The classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms opens with the famous line, “Anything long divided will surely unite, and anything long united will surely divide.” This aphorism aptly summarizes the historical thread that winds its way through the second volume of Jing Liu’s series Understanding China through Comics. In just under 150 pages, Liu deftly navigates the ebb and flow of nearly 400 years of Chinese history by placing key people, events, and ideas within a compelling narrative, augment...

Film Review Essay

Maineland: Directed by Miao Wang. Reviewed by Carol Stepanchuk

Stella (Xinyi) Zhu instantly engages with the camera: “Today is a very special day for me—I’m so happy to receive an offer from Fryeburg Academy—it’s my ideal school, my dream come true. . . I won’t let you down!” Harry (Junru) He also received an offer from Fryeburg: “I feel very fortunate, so I prepared a song for everyone,” he says in Chinese. He turns from the camera and starts to play an original composition on a piano in a room filled with books, family pictures, and m...

Columns, Digital Asia, Resources

MOOCS (Massive Online Open Courses) and Asian Studies

“Given that education has been calcified for 500 years, we really have to completely reimagine it. It’s like going from ox carts to the airplane.” This was the challenge laid out to a TED audience in January 2014 by Anant Agarwal, CEO of EdX. In his talk, Agarwal promised nothing less than to revolutionize education through MOOCs (or massively open online courses). By the end of the year, an article in the MIT Technology Review hit back, suggesting that “For all the hype, MOOCs are reall...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Teaching East Asia: Korea Lessons and Resources for K–12 Classrooms

In my experience as a university professor, teaching Korean history, while enjoyable, has its challenges. While most students are curious and eager to learn, much of the material is foreign to their own experiences, and they even find themselves struggling with something so seemingly simple as names (how can anyone unfamiliar with the Korean language be expected to pronounce the names of Sin Saimdang, Seondeok, or Yi Sunshin correctly based purely on the romanization?). However, dedicated K–12...

Feature Article

More Than a Meal: School Lunch in Japan

For many children in school, little compares to the hunger felt waiting for lunch. Breakfast is a memory, and it is the promise of the midday meal that strengthens the spirit through the morning lessons. In some corners of the world, the lunch hour is considered a time of respite, a chance for students and teachers to enjoy a break from their classes, scarf down a meal, and socialize with friends. In Japan, by contrast, lunchtime is an important part of shokuiku, or food education. The midday ho...

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