K-12 East Asian Connection
As you may have noticed, EASC’s Web site has a new look this fall. Not only has the design been improved, the content has been re-organized to make information easier to find. For example, under the Outreach section you can now find all the content of interest to K–12 teachers, including professional development programs and information on resources such as the popular East Asian Box Lessons and our video lending library.
On July 1 twenty-two middle and high school students from the Bloomington area took a final bow on stage at a public “Chinese Performance Night,” marking the end of a memorable eight-day “Taste of Chinese” course designed to introduce them to the Chinese language. It also closed out an intensive two-and-a-half-week STARTALK-funded Chinese Pedagogy Institute (CPI) designed to help train middle and high school Chinese language teachers. Led by Jennifer Liu (EALC), Mike Everson (Teaching and Learning, University of Iowa), and Claire Kotenbeutel (consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction), twenty-four teachers from around the country spent the first week of CPI studying pedagogical theory, discussing classroom management, and developing lesson and unit plans. The following week the teacher trainees tested their plans in the “Taste of Chinese” class with middle and high school students with no previous knowledge of Chinese. The success of CPI was evident in the quality of the performances put on by the students and their own and their parents’ pride in what they had accomplished in just eight days of language study.
This July EASC held a weeklong residential National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) Teaching about Asia seminar in Bloomington, providing an alternative for teachers from small towns in the Midwest who have been unable to attend the semester-long NCTA seminars held in metropolitan areas during the school year. Twenty-four teachers from Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio participated, taught by Jeff Johnson, a history teacher at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis. In addition to the intensive study of East Asian history and cultures, the group took excursions to the IU Art Museum and the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center. As one participant remarked, the summer seminar was “a great week of information and infusion into Asian culture.”
2008 NCTA Study Tour to Japan and Korea: Two Countries, Eleven Cities, Nineteen Teachers, Twenty-One Days
Thanks to generous funding from the Freeman Foundation, nineteen middle and high school teachers from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Alabama who had completed the NCTA Teaching about Asia seminar traveled to Japan and Korea for three weeks this summer. They were led by Qiong Jiang (outreach coordinator, EASC), faculty expert Mike Robinson (EALC), and curriculum coordinator John Frank (U.S. history teacher, Center Grove High School, Greenwood, IN) and assisted by Jeeyoung Shin (outreach assistant, EASC) and Kazumi Hayakawa (M.A. student, Second Language Studies).
The group visited several schools in Japan and South Korea, including Gwacheon Foreign Language High School in Gwacheon, South Korea and Kisogawa Senior High School in Nagoya, Japan where they observed classes and student activities and had meetings with school teachers and administrators, through which the group learned much about the educational system and practices in each school and country. They also took in historical and cultural sites, such as the DMZ and Andong Hahoe Village in Korea and Himeji Castle, the Hiroshima Peace Museum, and the Edo-Tokyo Museum in Japan. At the Hiroshima Peace Museum the group heard the story of an atomic bomb survivor, and in Nagoya Kazumi Hayakawa invited the group to a tea ceremony at her mother-in-law’s one-hundred-year-old house. These nineteen teachers are now sharing their adventures with their students through the lesson plans they developed after the tour concluded, ensuring that their experience will continue to enrich lives in the years to come.
On their first evening in Bloomington, twenty-four English and world literature teachers contemplated the spatial relationships of their heaven, earth, and man elements in ikebana arrangements, kicking off a week of intensive study and discussion. These teachers were in Bloomington for the tenth annual Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School workshop, which provides a broad overview of the literary traditions of China, Japan, and Korea and delves deeply into a selection of texts from each culture. In addition to studying literary texts, the participants learned about the history and cultures of the region and discussed classroom strategies for teaching these texts to secondary students. The week was rounded out with cultural activities, such as the introduction to ikebana and a demonstration of the martial art Taiji. Many participants had been commissioned by their schools to design courses on East Asian literature or to broaden existing courses with East Asian material, and this workshop effectively and enjoyably prepared them for the task. Next year’s literature workshop will take place July 12–18, 2009. Applications will be available online starting in November.