Teacher Programs

About Teacher Programs

NCTA provides content rich professional development programs for K-12 educators and pre-service teachers in all fields. This includes face-to-face college level seminars, online courses, workshops, book groups, webinars, and among other opportunities. Below are current offerings both locally and nationwide:

Event/Opportunity Type: 

Teaching The Global Water Crisis: A Multi-Disciplinary Mini-course for K-12 Educators


February 8, 10, and 12, 2021

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm (Eastern Time) / 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm (Central Time)
Significant portions of the world’s population lack access to sufficient quantities of water or to water of adequate quality – standards enshrined in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This unfolding global water crisis is making life precarious for billions of people and will increasingly foment environmental conflict, spur transnational migration, strain ecological systems, and exacerbate existing inequalities around the planet. 
This free, cross-disciplinary mini-course for K-12 educators will explore the global water crisis through attention to its geo-political, cultural, economic, and technological aspects, with particular attention to scholars and practitioners working within the environmental, political, and technological framework to address these challenges using a people-centered approach. Special attention will be given to the case of East Asia.
The programs will be conducted by Zoom. You can sign up for one or all of these presentations. Students and interested community members are welcomed to attend one or all of the sessions.
Benefits for K-16 educators: educators who attend all three session will receive a Certificate of Completion and a set of materials for their classrooms. Pennsylvania educators who want Act 48 hours must attend all three sessions.
This mini-course is hosted by the University of Pittsburgh's National Consortium for Teaching About Asia, and Global Studies Center, and is co-sponsored by the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh.
To register, please click on the link here: https://forms.gle/CG3ZGrZvWfuMNU8DA
Schedule of Program

Monday, February 8, 2021

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm (Eastern Time) / 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm (Central Time)

Modern Water with Dr. Ali Straub


Water Rights in the Global South - Caitlin Schroering


Arc GIS Supplement with Dr. Thomas Mueller



Wednesday, February 10, 2021

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm (Eastern Time) / 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm (Central Time)


Water in Politics in China and Tibetan Plateau with Dr. Roberta Soltz 


Understanding the Science and Environment of Water with Dr. Kristen Gunkel, University of Arizona


Arc GIS Supplement with Dr. Thomas Mueller



Friday, February 12, 2021

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm (Eastern Time) / 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm (Central Time)


Water, Energy, and Sustainability: A Look at the Mekong - Dr. Bryan Eyler


Teaching about Modern Water Issues Teacher-led Curriculum Session with Cindy McNulty

Event/Opportunity Type: 

OSU-NCTA Workshop: More Than Just K-POP: Take the Journey of Korea


February 13, 2021 
10:00 am - 12:00 pm (Eastern Time) / 9:00 am - 11:00 am (Central Time)

Uncover some of the most exciting cultural icons of this country through an interactive exploration of Korea! From the 7th century Cheomseongdae Observatory to the 15th century development of the Hangul writing system to today's efforts in preserving Moon Bear populations, join us on this virtual tour of South Korea's geography and history while learning how to use these activities in your own classroom. The participants will not only learn about how to incorporate Korean content in the classroom in a fun, engaging way, they will also learn how to create their own board game to explore other countries or subjects. 

This workshop will be conducted over Zoom. All K-12 Educators (pre-service and in-service teachers, librarians, and administrators) fromn the following states are welcome to participate: Alabama, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia.

To register, please click the link below: 

To learn more, please check out the website at: https://easc.osu.edu/events/ncta-feb13
Event/Opportunity Type: 

Pandemic Pedagogy:  COVID-19 and Education about Asia

February 2, 2021

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm (Eastern Time) / 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm (Central Time)

With the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world responded by closing borders, shutting down market access, and stoking xenophobic nationalism. The so-called “China virus” led to a metaphorical pandemic of anti-Asian sentiment, with numerous companies, governments, and individuals infected. The study of Asia and cross-cultural difference has rarely been more important than now.  Come join the authors of Teaching About Asia in a Time of Pandemic to discuss ways in which we can use case studies from the pandemic to enhance our Asia-related curriculum. 

Participants will engage in conversation with the authors and will receive a complimentary copy of the book.

To register, please click on the link below: https://pitt.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIudOGupj0tGNwbF3rdeM7phUECzRJQfP6W

Event/Opportunity Type: 

From Our Classroom To Yours: An NCTA Master Teacher Workshop Series

From Our Classroom To Yours:

An NCTA Master Teacher Workshop Series

A series of NCTA Master Teacher workshops on integrating East Asia into your classroom. 

Join us for a teacher to teacher presentations that will cover content, strategies, implementation, and resources for bringing East Asia into your classroom this year.

Each presentation will provide Act 48 for Pennsylvania teachers and Certificates of Completion for teachers from other states.



Schedule of Programs:


  From Our Classrooms to Yours: “Shibori - the Japanese Art of Shaped Resist Dyeing” 

  Kachina Leigh (February 25; 7:00-9:00 p.m. EST) 


From the science of dyeing to the mathematical precision of the patterns, shibori is a form of art that is applicable across multiple disciplines and age groups. This presentation will start with a brief history of shibori in Japan and move to the present day. Resources, practical tips, and suggestions for the use of non-traditional materials 

will be addressed, enabling teachers to share this art form with students in elementary grades to high school.   


Kachina Leigh is an artist and educator who teaches studio art and art history at Muhlenberg High School in Reading, Pennsylvania. She earned her undergraduate degree in English literature, French, and art history at Albright College and holds an MA from Temple University in art history, where she focused on 19th century French artists. She recently completed her MFA at the University of the Arts. Kachina has spent over 20 years at Muhlenberg and is part of a team-taught course called Global Studies in which she, a music teacher, English teacher, and social studies teacher work collaboratively to introduce students to cultures around the globe. She has written about lessons for journals such as Art & Activities. Her work with the Freeman Foundation’s National Consortium for Teaching About Asia has led to numerous educational opportunities for her and her students, as well as the privilege of writing for Education About Asia. Kachina completed her NCTA seminar work in 2009 and traveled to Japan as part of a study tour in 2010. Kachina teaches AP Art History as well as AP studio, and maintains an independent studio at the GoogleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading, Pennsylvania where she focuses on teaching advanced textile techniques.  Her work can be seen at www.kachinaleigh.com.   


This program is Co-Sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania.   


From Our Classrooms to Yours: “Worldviews and Belief Systems” 

Michael-Ann Cerniglia (March 18; 6:00-8:00 p.m. EST)  


This presentation will examine the foundations of world beliefs, how (and why!) to teach about them in a social studies classroom, and ways to help students see their relevancy in the world today. Participants will learn most directly about the basic tenets of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Emphasis will be placed on the worldviews that underpin each faith, how they are connected, and how they are distinct. Resources will be shared and opportunity to work in collaborative online groups will be given, to simulate the student learning experience.  


Michael-Ann Cerniglia is the Senior School History Department Chair at Sewickley Academy, an independent school north of Pittsburgh, PA, where she teaches Grades 10-12 AP European history, AP US Government and Politics, and global studies electives. Most relevant to today's presentation, she teaches a course called "World Religions," which examines the five major world religions and how they interact with the cultures in which they engage.  At school, she commits her time to curriculum, equity and inclusion initiatives, student clubs, and professional development opportunities that present themselves. Michael-Ann is passionate about global experiences in teaching, literature, film, technology, communication, and travel. She resides in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and two daughters. 


 Registration Link Coming Soon




From Our Classrooms to Yours: Dynasty Smackdown 

Matthew Roberts (April 14; 6:00-8:00 p.m. EDT) 


“Your dynasty is so weak you lost to Korea FOUR TIMES! You're like the Buffalo Bills of China.” 


“Oh yea, then why are we so Suite?!” 


Historical debates can be fun and educational. In this presentation we’ll look at one way to turn a dry, document-based discussion into a smack down, drag-out, no holds barred, debate. This tool is appropriate for 7-12 classrooms and with some modification can be used at the elementary level. Students learn important research skills, historical analysis and interpretation, and have a great time doing it.  


Matt Roberts is the Social Studies Department Chair at Pine-Richland High School in Allegheny County. He teaches 10th grade World History and 12th grade Asian Studies and AP Psychology. Matt has given several presentations for NCTA including “The Physics of the Samurai Sword” and “The Neuroscience of Buddhism.” Through NCTA, he has traveled to China and Japan and most recently co-led the 2019 Study tour “China: The Space Between Us.” Matt’s interests include curriculum development, travel, health and wellness, and traditional woodworking. 


 Registration Link Coming Soon



Past Sessions of From Our Classroom to Yours


From Our Classroom to Yours: East Asian Case Studies in Human Geography: Population, Migration and Innovation

with Matthew Sudnik (September 21)


From Our Classroom to Yours: Picture This! Traveling Through Time with Japanese Art and Manga

with Angie Stokes and Dr. Ann Marie Davisn (October 10)


From Our Classroom to Yours: That's Lama with One 'L': Exploring Tibetan Buddhism in the Social Studies Classroom

with Stephanie Rizas (November 16)


From Our Classroom to Yours: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress with Michele Beauchamp (December 9)



From Our Classrooms to Yours: “The Joy of Tangrams”  with Karen Gaul (January 14)


Event/Opportunity Type: 

Five Colleges Center for East Asian Studies 2020 Webinars

Join the NCTA and the Five Colleges Center for East Asian Studies for their 2020 Series of Webinars. 

Engage with experts and educators in thoughtful discussions and engaging presentations on the topics below.

To learn more, please click this link.

Understanding the Chinese Landscape Tradition, with Yao Wu, Smith College Museum of Art, Jan. 21, 2021, 7-8pm ET. Register here.
Stranger in the Shogun's City, with author Amy Stanley, Feb. 2, 2021, 7-8pm ET. Register here.
Lost Japan, with author Alex Kerr, Feb. 11, 7-8pm ET. Join us as we discuss the state of traditional arts. Cosponsored by the UMass Fine Arts Center Asian Arts and Culture program. Information on accessing that event coming soon. K-12 teachers, participate in the Lost Japan book group Feb. 3-17. Priority will be given to full-time classroom teachers. Books are here and will be shipped as soon as you register! Book group details and registration.


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