Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

Outside the Box Teaching East Asian History with Multimedia Approaches, Technological Artifacts, and Performative Activities

Filmmaking as a Way to Learn East Asian History By Paul G. Pickowicz In the 1980s, I became extremely interested in the use of visual sources in the study of modern Chinese history. Very little was known about the history of feature filmmaking in China. After spending a year at the Film Archive of China in 1982–1983, I became convinced that Chinese-made films provide unique insights into the social, cultural, and political history of China—information about popular culture that can not be ...

Feature Article

How “Green” Is Japan?: Studying Environmental Issues in the Field

There is no shared definition of what makes a country, business, or person “green” or environmentally friendly. However, based upon its landscape, policies, technologies, and practices, Japan appears to be more eco-friendly than most nations. Approximately 70 percent of Japan is forested—a much higher percentage than other countries. It has a history of celebrating nature in the arts, from landscape gardens and flower arrangement to the haiku of Basho and anime of Hayao Miyazaki. (note 1) ...

Online Supplement

Globalizing Science and Engineering Through On-Site Project-Based Learning

Introduction Ease of international travel, instant communication, and new corporate structures that span multiple countries all point to the necessity of globalizing the way we teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. In fact, corporations involved in applied research have evolved into operations with fluid frameworks that span multiple countries, with headquarters in one country, sourcing in a second, marketing in a third, and research laboratories in yet another. Scie...

Feature Article

Fang yazi—Releasing the Ducks: The University of North Dakota’s Short-Term Faculty-Led Study Program in China

In the summer of 2000, students at our university participated in the first China Summer Study Program (CSSP), a short-term, faculty-led program sponsored by the College of Business and Public Administration. It was designed as a study abroad experience that would allow students to accomplish specific tasks on their own rather than being transported from place to place on a tour bus or spending time in classrooms and factory reception halls. In this program, students walk or use public transport...

Feature Article

Sensory Experiences as Elements of Asian Studies Field Trips

Wingate University is a comprehensive university twenty-five miles east of Charlotte, North Carolina, with an undergraduate population of about 2,000. Almost 80 percent of our students are from North Carolina and many are from small towns. The student body is 60 percent female and 75 percent Caucasian. Although some of our students are well-traveled, a significant number have never been out of the country, and many have never been on an airplane.

Feature Article

Islam Encountered: Confronting Stereotypes and Fostering Knowledge

In this article, I discuss how field trips offer unique opportunities to craft a more nuanced and grounded understanding of religion in Southeast Asia, particularly Islam. I argue that rather than exert a lot of energy on “mythbusting” religious stereotypes through direct counterfactuals, encouraging students to channel these stereotypes towards a reflexive introspection has proven to be pedagogically beneficial. I then discuss field trips as a potentially fruitful opportunity to embody reli...

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...

Feature Article

New York City as Classroom: Exploring Buddhism Through Experiential Learning

Experiential learning can be particularly useful when teaching about Asia, as few students in an introductory course come with much knowledge about the region’s vast history, distinct cultures, and complicated political and social structures. Nevertheless, how does an instructor provide students direct experience of Asia without planning expensive study abroad opportunities or site visits? How does an educator encourage engagement with Asia without relying entirely on guest speakers or informa...

Feature Article

Looking for Confucius at the Asian Art Museum

Students in my East Asian civilization course learn about Daoism in part by practicing Tai Chi with a credentialed Tai Chi master who brings both a saber and a sword to class for a demonstration. Our outdoors practice session produces some Daoist awareness of the natural world; many students comment later that they had heard things while practicing that they had not heard on campus before, such as the wind in the trees or birds singing. We learn about Zen Buddhism in part by practicing seated me...

Feature Article

Ethnicity in the Lives of Modern Malaysian Youth

By Nancy Janus, Courtney Graham, Melissa Christie, Zoe Friedman, Jonathan Bonner During the summer of 2007, I traveled to Malaysia with four undergraduate students to study the lives of Malaysian youth. The youth-on-youth approach gave us an intimate look into the religion, social lives, and values of young Malaysians. We were interested in examining the ways in which ethnicity shaped the lives of young people in this multi-ethnic society. Malaysia is a geographically and ethnically diverse S...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Summer Study Tours: Making the Most of a Preeminent Professional Development Opportunity

By Ronald S. Byrnes Summer study tours present an unparalleled opportunity for teachers to continue learning about other people and places, to make new friends, to network, to internationalize curricula, and in the end, to rekindle enthusiasm for teaching. I have been privileged to be part of two Asia study tours. In 1997, I spent July in China with six colleagues, compliments of a Freeman Foundation grant. We traveled by bus, train, and plane in Eastern and Central China visiting cities, sch...

Feature Article

Oral History as a Teaching and Learning Tool

“Every student should do oral history at least once. You get to live history,”1 remarked a student in my Pacific War course. This endorsement came after the student completed an oral history project on his great-uncle, a soldier in the South Pacific during World War II. As a teacher of Asian history I often hear students say they “hated history,” then proceed to enumerate the usual complaints about history being nothing but names, dates, and dry-as-dust details. Many students have never ...

Essay, Resources

Pointers, Practicalities, and Pitfalls of Directing a Field Course in Asia

As novices in directing a field course, we felt that our trip, while immensely successful and enjoyable, yielded a number of lessons to be shared with others. It is difficult to imagine a teaching challenge more daunting and yet more rewarding than directing an international field course. Picture adding to the standard demands and pleasures of teaching the tasks of guide, accountant, publicist, recruiter, travel agent, menu planner, goodwill ambassador, medical advisor, and, for some of us, tra...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Feilong (Flying Dragon): The China Game

The board game Feilong: The China Game, a unique tool for learning and/or reinforcing learning about China, requires only a beginning knowledge of Chinese history and culture, but extends to challenge even the well informed. Players roll dice, answer questions from game cards, and move along the game board competing to be the first to land on a predetermined set of spaces. Eight playing pieces are included, but more players could easily play at the same time, or work in teams. There are 600 t...

Resources

The Chinese Cultural Revolution: Dynamic Times, Dramatic Lessons for Today’s Kids

The lesson plans presented here could be used in a high school World History course as part of a larger unit on the People’s Republic of China. Prerequisite understandings would include: 1) basic concepts of comparative governments, 2) the impact of Western imperialism on China, 3) an overview of twentieth-century Chinese history from the collapse of the Qing or Manchu dynasty in 1911 to the establishment of the PRC in 1949, and 4) the successes and failures of Maoist China prior to 1966. M...

Essay, Resources

Linking US and Chinese Schools: The China School Project

By Paul Hurteau For US K–12 classrooms studying China, the China School Project provides a unique opportunity to explore the Middle Kingdom and interact directly with students who live there— without leaving the classroom. The project links partner classes in the US and China through curriculum-based online travel; e-mail Q&A exchanges; physical exchanges of student artwork and music; and Study Partnerships, which culminate in exchanges of student-made picture books or videos. The mis...

Essay, Resources

Iowa Meets Miyazaki: Bringing Coursework to Life Through a Cross-Cultural Electronic Exchange

The Internet increases the ease of international communication and creates exciting new opportunities for American students to learn about Asia. In this article we will discuss our experiences using the Internet to engage college students in Japan and the United States in a cross-cultural discussion of contemporary Japanese society. This electronic exchange allowed us to accomplish specific learning objectives for each class while giving our students a unique personal connection with the culture...

Essay, Resources

EAA Interview with Margot Landman

Margot Landman is director of the U.S.-China Teachers Exchange Program, established in 1995 with a generous grant from the Freeman Foundation. The one-year exchange brings Chinese teachers to school districts in the United States, and sends American teachers to schools in China. The Chinese counterpart in this thriving exchange is the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE). In summer 2002 the program moved from the American Council of Learned Societies to the National Com...

Essay, Resources

Money, Anyone? Fulbright Program Funds for Group Projects

The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) Fulbright Group Projects Abroad programs offer a unique and interesting opportunity for area studies faculty to extend their reach into professional schools, junior colleges, and precollegiate education programs in addition to permitting innovation within more standard area studies programs in our college and graduate education.1 The Group Projects program may not be familiar to many, so I should note that these projects span four general project types: ...

Columns, Resources

Savoring the China Box

The seventh graders I teach as we move through our Culture Studies curriculum ask this question of me frequently. The lure of the China Box unopened on a shelf in the room is strong. In the early spring of the past two years when my students have finally been allowed to look into the China Box, they have not been disappointed....

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