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Teaching About Asia - August 2008

USCI's monthly e-newsletter on news and resources for teaching about Asia
August 1, 2008

Participants of the 2008 USCI/NCTA Summer Study Tour to China and Japan
at the Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi'an, China on July 5, 2008. (Photo by Richard Lee)

Would you like to spend three weeks in China and Japan for less than $1,000?  Sixteen teachers from California just did - on the 2008 USCI/NCTA Summer Study Tour to China and Japan, which spanned two countries and twelve cities in 21 days.  Offered to alumni of National Consortium for Teaching About Asia (NCTA) teacher training seminars on East Asia, the subsidized study tour brings the history, culture and developments covered in the seminar curriculum alive.  Participant and avid photographer Richard Lee's amazing study tour gallery can be viewed here.

The next NCTA study tour will be held in summer 2010, and you can become eligible to apply by completing an NCTA teacher training seminar coordinated by the U.S.-China Institute (USCI) this fall.  We are pleased to announce that we will be holding our Fall 2008 "East Asia and New Media in My Classroom" professional development seminar at TWO locations in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.  Seminar overviews and schedules can be found below, and you are encouraged to visit the "K-12 Curriculum" section of our website for additional detail and application information. 

Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and encourage them to subscribe (go to our newsletter subscription page and select the “K-12 Education” subscriber category). As always, we welcome your feedback - please write to us at

In this issue:

♦  USCI/NCTA Seminars - Fall 2008  ♦
♦  Other Learning Opportunities  ♦
♦  USCI in the Classroom - Web Resources  ♦
♦  Additional Resources for Teaching about Asia  ♦
♦  Teachers on Asia


♦  USCI/NCTA Seminars - Fall 2008

The USC U.S.-China Institute (USCI) is committed to improving teaching about China and the rest of Asia.  For Fall 2008, we will be holding the "East Asia and New Media in My Classroom" seminar in conjunction with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) at two locations: the UTLA building in Los Angeles and Millikan Middle School in the San Fernando Valley.

The seminars will meet on six alternating Tuesday evenings from 5 to 8 pm, with three Saturday sessions from 9 am to 3:30 pm.  Priority in enrollment will be given to World History and Language Arts teachers, but all teachers are encouraged to apply.  Enrollment in each seminar will be limited to 20 participants. 

"East Asia and New Media in My Classroom" at a glance:

Duration: 36 hours
Eligibility: Open to all; priority enrollment for World History and Language Arts teachers
Class size: 20 teachers per seminar
Seminar focus:  1) Helping teachers address CA educational standards by exploring East Asian history and culture; 2)  Using new media resources to develop East Asia-focused lesson materials
Seminar topics
East Asia: Geography/Early East Asia, East Asia since 1900, Cosmopolitan East Asia, Women in East Asian History, Chinese Philosophy, Late Imperial China, Classical and Warrior Japan, The Meiji Restoration, Japanese Literature, Using Poetry; New Media: Web Research, Web Collaboration
Upon sucessful completion of seminar and follow-up requirements, individuals are eligible to receive:
    →  $500 stipend
    →  $200 in East Asian referene and teaching materials
    →  $300 school library grant for East Asia-focused materials
    →  Two LAUSD salary points or six USC continuing education units

Seminar schedules:

UTLA - Los Angeles
September 9 to December 13, 2009
    - Follow-up session on January 13, 2009

Millikan - San Fernando Valley
September 27 to December 16, 2008
    - Follow-up session on January 26, 2009


For additional information on the seminars, application directions and forms, visit the "K-12 Curriculm" of the USCI website

The DEADLINE for receipt of applications is:

For UTLA seminar - Tuesday, September 2, 2008
For Millikan (SF Valley) seminar - Friday, September 19, 2008

♦  Other Learning Opportunities

•  Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program

Open to educators and administrators with responsibilities for curriculum development in fields related to humanities, languages, and area studies.  All seminars are in non-western European countries and geared towards educators with little or no experience in the host country who demonstrate the need to develop and enhance their curriculum through short-term study and travel abroad.  There are nine seminars being offered for Summer 2009, in India, Mexico, New Zealand, Mongolia, China, Poland, Turkey, Jordan, Oman and Senegal. 

Please visit the program website for additional information.  This program is not administered by or associated with USCI.


♦  USCI in the Classroom - Web Resources

The USCI website ( is your one-stop shop for news and resources about China and the rest of Asia.  Some of our latest features:

 •  US-China Today

USCI's student-driven e-magazine focuses on the multidimensional and evolving U.S.-China relationship with coverage of and commentary on a wide range of political, economic, social, and cultural issues. 

Some recent headlines:
→   "China's Presence Increasingly Important in Cooling the World's Hot Spots"
→   "Growing to New Proportions: Chinese Gardens in the U.S."
→   "Keeping Their Distance: Young Taiwanese Women and Politics"
→   "Skateboarding with Chinese Characteristics"

For special features, soundbites, as well as daily updates of China-related stories in the international media, bookmark the US-China Today website:

•  U.S. Ambassador to China featured speaker of Klein Lecture

USCI hosted Ambassador Clark T. Randt, Jr. as he delivered the 2008 Herbert G. Klein Lecture at USC on April 21, 2008.  The longest-serving United States Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, Ambassador Randt provided a penetrating look into the two countries' multidimensional relationship. 

Streaming video and a transcript of the talk are available on our website.

•  Pew survey reports Chinese positive about present

The Pew Research Center recently carried out surveys in 24 countries, and it’s the Chinese who have the most positive view. This is a major change since the Center’s 2002 poll, with 48% of Chinese expressing satisfaction then and 86% now.  In stark contrast, 77% of Americans felt that the U.S. is not headed in the right direction.

Read more about the survey, or see the News & Features portion of our website for additional stories.


♦  Additional Resources for Teaching about Asia

•  Beijing Olympics Official Website

"One World One Dream" is the slogan of the 2008 Olympic Games, to be held in Beijing, China from August 8 to 24.  The official website provides information on events and athletes, as well as video, photo galleries and special features on Olympic culture and education.

•  Clearing the Air: China's Environmental Challenge

A web feature by the Asia Society that tracks China's approach to environmental improvements ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games.  With photo galleries, statistical information, newsfeeds and resource links.

•  BBC program: Chinese School

There are 350 million children being educated in China.  This BBC/Open University series discover what daily life is like for those in the region of Anhui - student life, away from the headlines, in a fast-changing nation.  The website provides comprehensive information on the Chinese education system.

•  Japan Society Image Galleries

A collection of online image galleries highlighting a range of Japanese art, from ancient to contemporary.  The current featured gallery is "Tapestry in Architecture: Creating Human Spaces."

•  Got a good tip on teaching resources? 

→  E-mail us and we will share it in the next issue

♦  Teachers on Asia

•  Asia in My Classroom Discussion Forum

Teachers of all levels and subjects are invited to join our "Asia in My Classroom" forum. To become a registered user (enabling you to post to the board), please e-mail us your request along with your name, school, and the grades and subjects you teach.  What teachers have been talking about:

→  On middle school teaching ideas: "I like to use some of the short animated movies on  This website has many short movies on a variety of subjects. At the end of each short movie is a quiz. You can either print the quiz ahead of time or have the students take the quiz on the computer. China-themed mini movies include the Great Wall and Communism. The students enjoy watching the movies and quizzes are not very difficult."
- Araceli Cano,  Sun Valley Middle School

→  On visiting LACMA: "Last Tuesday (every second Tuesday of the month is free) I visited...the exhibition 'The Age of Imagination, Japanese Art: 1615-1868' (through September 14, 2008).  There were a number of interesting observations...although the locus of government was in Edo (now Tokyo), the center for art was Kyoto...Most of the displayed art, other than the statuary, was either on scrolls or screens, with a few items on fans. The paintings were remarkably detailed. Even for those without a particular interest in Japan or Asia, this is an exhibition well worth visiting."

- Phillip Pearson, Fulton College Preparatory School


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USC U.S. - China Institute

3535 S. Figueroa Street, FIG 202
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1262
United States of America

phone: 213-821-4382
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