Education About Asia: Online Archives

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EAA Digest Exclusive

South Asian Literature

Although Asian indigenous cultural variations appear endless, that said, China and India have historically, the most widespread influence throughout Asia, (and elsewhere), when compared with other Asian civilizations. Hopefully, the articles, essays, and resources in both sections of this column assist educators and students in their efforts to learn about and from South Asian literature. 

EAA Digest Exclusive

Teaching Asia through Literature: China, Japan, Korea

Teaching Asia through Literature: China, Japan, Korea [caption id="attachment_18783" align="alignleft" width="200"] Book cover for My Borther's Keeper by Julie Lee[/caption] Contemporary education at almost every level, through its seeming obsession with "Objectives," "Learning Outcomes," and intensely political ideologies, seems to be minimizing the pleasure, varying emotions, and truth that literature conveys about the human condition. EAA readers and subscribers familiar with Asia wil...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Xi Jinping, China, and the World (Part 1)

During the last 4-5 years, President Xi Jinping’s government has engaged in aggressive domestic and global policies that raise profound concerns for human rights and freedom. This exclusive focuses upon China’s actions in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Xinjiang.

EAA Digest Exclusive

Rethinking our Notions of Asia

Fifteen years ago, we published a special section titled “Rethinking our Notions of Asia.” This column will hopefully help EAA readers and their students continue this process in multiple ways. Most fundamentally, students should first learn basic information about Asian cultures. That said, instructors and students in middle school, high school, and undergraduate classes can learn even more about Asia and the world through considering the essays below.

EAA Digest Exclusive

EAA and Afghanistan: Nine Years Ago

Two authors with impressive expertise on Afghanistan and the ability to write for educated lay people as well as high school and university students were each solicited to write separate essays entitled “What History Can Teach Us About Contemporary Afghanistan.” Those teachers who are looking for well-done, concise, and high quality contextual articles for themselves and their students that provide some foundation to think more deeply about unfolding events in Afghanistan that will potential...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Teaching Asian Geographies: Overcoming Pedagogical Barriers

Understanding geography, especially physical geography, is not easy for me. A deceased relative once described this ineptness as “not having even a bump of locality.” This handicap notwithstanding, my advocacy for geographic literacy in general, and geographic understanding of Asia in particular, as essential foundations of liberal and international education becomes stronger each year. Despite enormous digital advances in pedagogy, the apparent persistence of widespread geographic illitera...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Teaching Japanese Culture: Timeless Influences

At the most fundamental level, no humans have created cultures that are completely unique in human history. That said, indigenous practices, interactions with other cultures, and subsequent creative cultural adaptations help to richly enhance any culture. Each one of the following archived EAA articles, intended for teachers and students, are illustrative of cultural practices and influences that remain “timeless” in influencing many Japanese.

EAA Digest Exclusive

Intercultural Contacts 2: Visual Learning, Belief Systems, and the Silk Roads

The term Asia is both, at one level, geographically accurate, and conceptually useful in understanding specific cultures but at another level, the concept of “Asia” is limiting because of regional and global connections that have existed since antiquity. The focus of the January 2021 EAA Digest Exclusive was intercultural contacts, as is the case with this month’s column. Given the subjects most EAA readers teach, understanding the humanities and social sciences means realizing the power o...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Armed Conflict in Asia

Learning about the profound multiple causes and effects of armed conflicts on past, present, and possible future generations is a critical component of a liberal education and an imperative part of reflective democratic citizenship, including, and especially, electing executive and legislative leaders.

EAA Digest Exclusive

Asia: Dictators, Authoritarian Governments, and Human Rights

When confronted by dictators and authoritarian governments, fighting for human rights such as democracy and freedom of thought anywhere is risky at best. Hopefully, these selections from the EAA archives will serve to educate students about individual action in response to authoritarian governments, as well as the human tragedies faced by common people who experience oppressive governments.

EAA Digest Exclusive

Asian Prosperity and Entrepreneurs

The dramatic rise in prosperity for many millions of East Asians can, unlike miracles, be explained at its most basic level in two words: incentives and entrepreneurs. Governments in East Asia, beginning with Japan, understood and consistently provided incentives that created opportunities for large numbers of people to feed their families and otherwise prosper. Entrepreneurs—individuals with the talent, prescience, and audacity to take financial risks that resulted in successful national and ...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Japanese, Americans, and Europeans: Consequential Intercultural Contacts

Japanese, Americans, and Europeans: Consequential Intercultural Contacts [caption id="attachment_18751" align="alignleft" width="401"] Honda Sōichirō. Source: The "About Us" page of the Honda Motor Company, Ltd. website at https://www.honda.com/about.[/caption] Three themes are hopefully evident in the recommended EAA teaching resources that follow. Individuals can exercise profound cultural international influence, be changed by other cultures, and teacher and student understanding of...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Sports, Asia, and the World

Students practice martial arts for the first time during morning exercises at Jiujiang Primary School in east China’s Jiangxi Province on May 3rd, 2013. The school has choreographed a special set of morning exercises combining traditional martial arts and poetry recitation since the beginning of the spring 2016 semester. Source: Xinhua, courtesy of Imgur at http://imgur.com/L5rGsoB. As an eighth-grade junior high graduation present, my parents offered me two options; both Boy Scout-Related...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Comparative Studies: History, Literature, Culture, and Individuals

In an earlier but lengthy part of my career, I spent probably close to 1,200 hours in primarily Japanese schools and educational institutions, and more limited time in schools and educational institutions in South Korea, the PRC, Taiwan, and Việt Nam. I've published articles, essays, and a book on comparative education. The one point I always make with students that is most gratifying for me as a result of these efforts is a better understanding of US K-16 education. I hope readers ca...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Asia and the World: East Asia-related Literature

Proponents of the “bookless curriculum” pedagogy, ideologues from across the political spectrum, and desperate American teachers confronting alarming percentages of students with low reading levels, are perhaps some of the reasons for the diminishment of literature in education. Hopefully, the following selections will inspire those readers who love literature to assign even more literary works on East Asia and the World in their courses. A number of Digest readers have read some of the...

EAA Digest Exclusive, Resources

Asia and the World: “Travelers’ Tales”

International travel is still a dicey prospect for most of us because of the pandemic, but almost all Digest readers probably love travel at some level. The following entries could be vicarious travel for imaginative readers, but each recommended EAA article or essay, in my opinion, helps students and instructors better understand the often profound effects of literal and figurative travelers and ideas impacting different parts of Asia and the world in a variety of ways.

EAA Digest Exclusive

Teaching Confucius: Multiple Perspectives

Confucius, or Kong Fuxi or Master Kong (the best romanization of the term since “Confucius” was a European construction), is almost certainly the most-well-known person who ever lived in East Asia. In the US, visit the East Pediment of the Supreme Court and see Confucius’s statue flanked on the left by Solon and on the right by Moses in a tableau of famous “lawgivers.” Examine content-rich K-12 Social Studies State Standards in the US and you’ll find Confucius. The same is true for t...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Historical Thinking: China

A perennial problem is how to make survey history courses, often most likely the only history many high school and college students will ever take, meaningfully encourage students to think deeply about what they learn to better understand not only history, but contemporary cultures as well. How useful is Periodization? How can timelines be vehicles for historical thinking? How can students more deeply understand historical change? In the three articles that follow, students both learn history an...

EAA Digest Exclusive

Southeast Asia EAA Archives

Southeast Asia still seems to garner too little attention in American school and university courses. The following sample archival selections should be useful as student assignments and/or teacher backgrounders. Southeast Asia is Maritime Asia at one level and understanding the Indian Ocean and its role in global history is a good place to start. Most students (and some teachers, including myself two decades ago), have little or no specific understanding of the size and importance of the India...

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