I hope readers look forward to engaging in creative, interesting, and exciting summer changes of paces from the usual routines of fall and spring terms.
In our nonthematic first feature article, “The Journey to the West: A Platform for Learning about China Past and Present,” Jianfen Wang and Gordon Gray offer readers the chance to use this classic work in better understanding how Chinese political elites, ordinary people, and shapers of popular culture have reacted to the novel throughout the years.
“Schools and Asia” is the special section for this issue. Roy Bergeson’s “Chinese Schools and Students—1985–2015: My Reflections” is a rich account of his work in China that vividly highlights both cultural similarities and profound differences between Chinese and Westerners. Michael Tsang and Daniel Fung’s “Beyond the Spoon-Feeding Classroom: A Jesuit Priest’s Use of Outings as Holistic Education” is a moving portrait of an educator who inspired his students with pedagogy that increased their knowledge of English, and transmitted deeper and permanent life lessons. In “The China Survey Course in the Age of STEM,” Barry Keenan draws upon his extensive knowledge of East Asian history and the humanities in a thoughtful essay that demonstrates that science, technical education, and the humanities, if approached in the spirit of liberal education, can be complementary, not conflictual.
Robert Aspinall in “Children’s Rights in Japan’s Schools” first articulates the UN’s definition of children’s rights and then tells the story of a much-publicized effort by Japanese adolescents and some teachers to expand teenagers’ influence in helping to shape their education in one high school in Saitama Prefecture. Brooke Schedneck, Samran Khansamrong, and Steve Epstein’s “Thai Buddhist Monastic Schools and Universities” is an excellent introduction to a significant sectarian alternative to state education in Thailand that includes a useful overview of the topic and two essays by instructors—one of whom graduated from a Buddhist university—that focus on the aspirations and needs of their university students.
STEM education in the Asian nation that leads the world in math and science performance assessments, and the ramifications for US education, are the topics of “Science Education in Singapore and the US: An Interview with Michael Lowry.” Maranda Wilkinson interviews high school science teacher Michael Lowry, who in addition to earning a Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching, received a Fulbright Award that enabled him to work with Singapore’s Ministry of Education to investigate science education. Jason Herlands and Meghan Cai in “Reading Beyond the Curriculum: Fostering Communities of L2 Chinese and Japanese Learners” describe an innovative extracurricular pedagogical approach they use with learners in an era where many regional universities struggle with retaining Asian languages programs.
In addition to feature articles, authors of five essays and one column in the resources section also address topics relating to schools and Asia, ranging from Carol Stepanchuk’s superb teaching resources essay of a new The Great Courses: Books that Matter instructional package on the Analects of Confucius to Dan Métraux’s useful guide intended for study tour leaders who have limited time but the opportunity to take undergraduates or high school students to Japan.
Five print and online resources essays and reviews on nonthematic topics appear in this issue, including a useful guide to teaching about Bangladesh and population issues, and an essay review of what should be a superb classroom primary source film documentary on India for world history teachers.
The fall 2019 EAA special section is “Entrepreneurship in Asia,” and the winter 2019 special section is “Asian Literature in the Humanities and the Social Sciences”; the deadline for initial receipt of manuscripts for the latter issue is August 1st, 2019. November 30th, 2019, is the deadline for initial receipt of manuscripts for the spring 2020 special section, “Asian Philosophies and Religions.” Please visit the EAA website at www.asian-studies.org/eaa for author guidelines and for information about all future special sections; nonthematic manuscripts are also considered for each issue.
Please encourage friends and colleagues who prefer EAA print copies to subscribe, or to purchase multiple discounted copies of back issues, at our low rates at the EAA website. Readers interested in accessing PDFs of all EAA articles and essays through the current issue can visit the EAA website for no charge and no required password. In the meantime, please like us on Facebook, follow EAA on Twitter, and tell your friends to do the same.
Finally, readers should be aware of some excellent news concerning EAA. Soon, AAS is launching a new, much-improved website. In Denver at the annual AAS conference this past March, several members of the editorial board were able to view a demonstration of some of the new features of the upcoming EAA website. EAA’s digital capacities are about to be substantially enhanced!
Editor: Education About Asia
“My Students and Asia: Then and Now” by Jeffrey Richey
The author’s bio on page 20 describes Jeffrey Richey as Professor of Religion and Chair of Asian Studies at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. He is Professor of Asian Studies and Chair of the Asian Studies Department at Berea College.
“The Reign of Emperor Akihito, 1989–2019: A History in Five Key Words” by Paul Dunscomb
On page 35, an image in the top right shows an explosion described as occurring at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant during the March 11, 2011 triple disaster in Japan. The image is actually an explosion at a Cosmo Oil refinery in Ichihara, Japan caused by the triple disaster.
The editors apologize for these mistakes.