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:

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University of Colorado Boulder: NCTA-TEA NoVa Workshop 2019-2020 Series

NCTA NoVa workshops are offered to secondary teachers in Virginia and the DC area who teach abour East Asia as part of their course assignments. NCTA NoVa workshops run from 9:00am (arrival/check in from 8:30-8:50am) to 3:45pm and include morning snacks and lunch. The workshops take place at the Madeira School in McLean, VA unless otherwise noted. NCTA will contact you to confirm your participation.

December 14, 2019. China, Youth Culture, and Contemporary Social Issues. Join NoVa NCTA for the first of three 2019-2020 Saturday workshops. This workshop will feature China watcher Eric Fish, author of China's Millennials: The Want Generation. Participants will receive Eric's book and join him for a discussion of China's youth culture and the issues that concern this demographic. Additional sessions with John Flower, Director of the Sidwell Friends School China Program, and Matthew Sudnik, NCTA NoVa Coordinator, will focus on issues in the news and classroom strategies and resources for teaching about China's current events. Register for this workshop below, beginning October 5, 2019. Register Here

February 29, 2020. NoVa NCTA at the Freer|Sackler. NCTA joins our colleagues at the Freer|Sackler to focus on two of the Galleries’ 2020 special exhibits. “Hokusai: Mad about Painting” provides a vivid, complex look into everyday life in early 19th-century Japan by one of Japan’s most famous Tokugawa woodblock artists. With the second featured exhibit, “Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece,” workshop participants have the opportunity to explore a single work of art in depth and detail. We’ll work with Freer|Sackler curators and staff, and also consider ways to teach Japan and Korea through these works. Registration for this workshop opens in mid-January 2020.

March 7, 2020. Japan, Popular Culture, and the Olympics. The Olympics are generally recognized as a world stage on which the hosting nation can showcase its culture, accomplishments, and global role. For Japan, the summer 2020 Tokyo Olympics will take place in a time of growing nationalism, increasing regional friction, and an uncertain economy.  What messages will Japan send to the world through the 2020 Olympics? Will it showcase trade-mark soft power accomplishments in technology and popular culture, as in the past, or promote a new image for the 21st century? Our featured speaker is William Tsutsui, author of In Godzilla’s Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture on the Global StageJapanese Popular Culture and Globalization; and The East Asian Olympiads, 1934-2008. Registration for this workshop opens in mid-January 2020.

For more information about the NCTA-TEA NoVa Workshop Series, please view the flyer here.

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Five Colleges Center for East Asian Studies 2019-2020 Webinars

Join the NCTA and the Five Colleges Center for East Asian Studies for their 2019-2020 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.


Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot's World War II Story 


Oct. 24, 2019, 7-8pm Eastern Time

Join us for a presentation by Marc Tyler Nobleman, author of Thirty Minutes Over Oregon: A Japanese Pilot's World War II Story, 2018 Honorable Mention Freeman Book Award--Children's Literature. 

Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3858272462319366402


Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War 

Dec. 10, 7-8pm Eastern Time

Join author Susan Southard as she discusses the writing of Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War as well as her Nov. 2019 trip to Nagasaki to celebrate the publication of the Japanese language translation. 

Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7917711176098218754 


Total Immersion: Exploring Tea Culture in East Asia

Feb. 4, 2020, 7-8pm Eastern Time


Join Prof. Mindy Landeck (Austin College) as she explores tea and tea practices in East Asia.


Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/9066745907118157314  

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The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Lessons Learned

The 1918 Flu Pandemic: Lessons Learned

October 18-19, 2019

4130 Posvar Hall, University of Pittsburgh


Could this happen again? The 1918 influenza pandemic was the most severe pandemic in recent history, so deadly that some countries ran out of coffins. The symptoms were horrible, giving it the name of “black flu.” Although there is no universal consensus regarding where the virus originated, it spread worldwide during 1918-1919. It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide. Now 100 years later, we will explore in this two-day minicourse for K-12 educators the origins of the pandemic; its impact in Europe, Asia, and the Americas; and how the field of global health changed from an emphasis on tropical medicine to international health. Free materials, ACT 48, parking, and meals. 

This mini-course is co-sponsored by the Global Studies Center, the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia, the European Studies Center and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.


Please register as space is limited.  Registration is at our link: https://tinyurl.com/y6trunpp

Check out our Flyer


Schedule of Events

Friday, October 18


5:30 p.m. Registration and Dinner


6:00 p.m. Teacher self-introductions


6:30 p.m. Keynote Presentation: Dr. Bernard Hagerty (Department of History)

“From War to Sorrowful Death: Europe and the Great Flu Epidemic, 1918-19.”


7:30 p.m. Q&A with the presenter


8:00 p.m. End of program for tonight


Saturday, October 19


8:30 a.m. Registration and light breakfast


9:00 a.m. Dr. Mari Webel (Department of History) “The Flu Pandemic and its Impact on Global Public Health”


10:00 Q&A with the presenter


10:30 a.m. Dr. Siddharth Chandra (Director of the East Asian Center, Michigan State University) “The Flu Pandemic in Asia”


11:30 a.m. Q&A with the presenter


11:45 a.m. Working Lunch begins


12:00 noon Screening of The American Experience: Influenza 1918


1:15 p.m. Ron Sivillo (NCTA alum, Upper St. Clair High School): Teaching about the 1918 Flu Pandemic as a Global Phenomenon.


3:00 p.m. Closing Remarks


K-12 educators attending this program will receive free parking, Friday evening dinner, Saturday breakfast and lunch, Act 48 hours, and materials including a the American Experience DVD Influenza 1918.


Title: The 1918 Flu Pandemic: Lessons Learned

Date: Friday evening, October 18 and Saturday, October 19

Times: Friday 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m. –3:15 p.m.

Location: 4130 WW Posvar Hall, University of Pittsburgh


Please Register at: https://tinyurl.com/y6trunpp

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2019 Teaching Asia Workshop: Asian Studies in the Digital Age

Dickinson College, Carlisle PA

October 12, 2019

The Teaching Asia Workshop is designed to foster better understanding of Asia among K-12 teachers
and to provide them with the tools to integrate material on Asia into their curriculum. This year’s
conference theme is “Asian Studies in the Digital Age.” Presenters will discuss how to teach about
Asia in an era increasingly dominated by digital technology. The presentations will include
demonstrations of how instructors might use new digital tools to make the history, politics, and
culture of Asia come to life in the classroom.

Please NOTE that this workshop is free for NCTA alums.

To get the free registration as an NCTA Alum or Associate, when you fill out the registration form, when it asks for form of payment, click the “Other” box and type in NCTA Alum

Also, participants will be presented with a professional development certificate of completion and PA ACT 48 credit is available upon request. 


Program (Room TBD)

9:00-9:15      Registration and Refreshments

9:15-9:30      Dr. Shawn Bender (Dickinson College), Welcome Address

9:30-10:00    Brenda Jordan (University of Pittsburgh), “NCTA Web Resources for Teaching about Asia”

10:45-11:30  Dr. Jonathan Abel (Penn State University), “Emoji and the Dream of a Universal Language”

11:30-12:15  Dr. Rachael Hutchinson (University of Delaware), “Videogames in the Asian Studies Classroom:
Thematic Readings and Material Culture”

12:15-1:45    Lunch and Keynote Address by Dr. Christine Yano (U of Hawaii), Vice- President,
Association for Asian Studies

2:00-2:45      Dr. Song Chen (Bucknell University), “Transforming the Classroom into a Makerspace:
Teaching China with Digital Resources”

2:45-3:30      Dr. Susan Douglass (Georgetown University), “Teaching the Indian Ocean in World History”

3:30-3:45      Conclusion and Workshop Evaluation


Register here for the Teaching Asia Workshop. 

For information on hotels and transportation, click here.

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Day of the Western Sunrise

Title of Program: Day of the Western Sunrise
Date: Saturday, September 28, 2019
Time Detail: 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (open to the general public); 12:30-2:00 p.m. special session for NCTA alumni
Location: The Ohio State University Campus: Hagerty Hall 180 (1775 College Rd); Columbus, Ohio
Type of Course: Face-to-Face Seminars and Workshops
Audience: K-12 educators and general public for the Director’s comments and screening; NCTA alumni (for the special session)
Course Description: “Day of the Western Sunrise” is an animated documentary by DALIBORKAfilms in the Japanese storytelling method kamishibai, which uses hand drawn visuals and 3D stills with narration. The film follows the crew of the fishing vessel, Daigo Fukuryū Maru (Lucky Dragon No. 5) on their search for tuna. On March 1, 1954, the crew survived the Castle Bravo thermonucluer test in the Pacific Ocean by the United States, which was the largest explosion known. The events of the explosion as well as the lasting impact on the crew’s lives are retold through interviews of the surviving crew and narration. The Director, Keith Reimink, will introduce the film followed by a screening. NCTA alumna Angie Stokes will lead a special session for NCTA alumni following the screening. NCTA alums will receive a DVD of the film, the Toolkit for classroom use, and lunch.
Registration deadline: September 13, 2019
Register at: https://easc.osu.edu/events/easc/sept28-film
Offered to: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky

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Godzilla on My Mind: Godzilla in Japanese History and the Global Imagination

Title of Program: Godzilla on My Mind: Godzilla in Japanese History and the Global Imagination


Start Date: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

End Date: October 16, 2019

Time detail: 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. dinner with Dr. William Tsutsui, followed by 6:30 lecture and screening of the original Gojira.

Location: 4130 WW Posvar Hall and Assembly Room in the William Pitt Union

Type of Course: Face-to-Face Seminars and Workshops

Audience: NCTA alumni for the dinner with the speaker; lecture and film open and free to the public


Course Description: Join NCTA and the University of Pittsburgh for an evening lecture with Dr. William Tsutsui, Japanese historian and President of Hendrix College. Since Godzilla's first appearance almost 65 years ago, the King of the Monsters has become a cinematic icon and a globally recognized symbol of Japan.  But what can a giant, radioactive movie monster tell us about Japanese culture and Japan's national experience since World War II?  What is it about an actor in a rubber lizard suit destroying miniature Japanese cities that has inspired love, loyalty, and laughter over generations of fans around the world?  This talk will introduce the 1954 film, survey the history and impact of the 32 Godzilla movies, reflect on Hollywood’s handling of the King of the Monsters, and assess the impact of changes in special effects technology, cinematic fashion, and global politics on the world’s oldest and longest film franchise. The lecture by Dr. Tsutsui will be followed by a screening of the original Gojira film as part of International Week at the University of Pittsburgh.


Registration Information: NCTA alums can contact Dr. Patrick Hughes to reserve their space for the dinner at hughespw@pitt.edu


Check out our flyer for more information


Offered to: Western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, northern Western Virginia

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Nuclear Testing and Day of the Western Sunrise

NCTA Workshop:  Nuclear Testing and Day of the Western Sunrise
When: August 7, 2019 8:30am-1:00pm
Where: 4130 Wesley Posvar Hall, University of Pittsburgh Campus
How much do your students know about nuclear weapons testing? Join us on Wednesday August 7 for an NCTA teacher workshop “Nuclear Testing and Day of the Western Sunrise” which will explore the effects on a Japanese fishing boat that was accidentally caught in the U.S. testing of a thermonuclear bomb in the Bikini Atoll in 1954. Day of the Western Sunrise is a new documentary about Castle Bravo, the largest U.S. nuclear test to date, and the lives of the 23 Japanese fishermen of the Lucky Dragon No. 5 caught in the blast. Told in a combination of Japanese kamishibai animation and live action, the film can be used to discuss issues of nuclearization, advocacy, and human rights, and connects to subjects such as history, art and science. The documentary is accompanied by a newly created Educational Toolkit designed for specifically for educators.
Active teachers attending this morning workshop will receive a free DVD of the film along with an Educational Toolkit on this documentary, and Act 48 hours. A Light breakfast, lunch and free parking in the Soldiers & Sailors garage are also provided.
Presenters include the film director, Keith Reimink of Daliborka Films LLC, and Angie Stokes, NCTA alumna and one of the principal authors of the Educational Toolkit.
This workshop is open to any educators, so please spread the word to your colleagues who might find this topic of interest.  Registration is required by emailing Patrick Hughes at hughespw@pitt.edu
Registration deadline is August 5.

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World History Textbook Rubric Evaluation Session

World History Textbook Rubric Evaluation Session
June 12, 2019, 5:30-8:30pm
4130 Wesley Posvar Hall
We are putting together a group of teahers to help with a project  that we have been working on for the past year—a rubric for evaluating World History textbooks (see the statement of purpose below for what we’ve been up to). We would like to put the rubric to the test by having a group of teachers meet for a few hours to evaluate a world history textbook (we’ll provide the text to be evaluated).  You don’t have to be a world history teacher to participate! Also, we are not limiting this to NCTA teachers, so if you have any colleagues who would be interested in this, please let them know about it.  We’ll provide dinner, free parking in the Soldiers & Sailors garage, and as a “thank you” for your time, we’ll give you a $50 stipend and a free copy of the latest title in the ‘Key Issues in Asian Studies” series.
If you are able to help out with this interesting project, please email Patrick Hughes  hughespw@pitt.edu by Monday, June 10.
Here is the STATEMENT OF PURPOSE from the Textbook Rubric Team (Michael-Ann Cerniglia, Matthew Roberts, Matthew Williams):
Based on conversations at NCTA Board of Advisors over a year ago, we embarked on developing a tool to evaluate the quality of textbooks. At first, we were thinking about the way in which East Asia was treated in World History textbooks, but then we looked more broadly at World History textbooks as a whole.  Of course, this became a very challenging endeavor over the year, in that we found even defining "quality" was subjective. At this point, we have developed a draft of a rubric which we believe produces two things.  First, it produces a subjective score that is based on operationalized definitions; though this was not, admittedly, scientifically tested. Second, it produces a process and experience from which teachers can discuss and compare their scores.  Ultimately, it is the discussion that is most valuable. To that end, we are seeking teachers who are interested in the comparative value of different textbooks based on four categories: Legitimacy, Structure, Perspective, and Agency.  We hope to workshop this rubric and engage in discussion about its value and possible changes that would make it more useful in its application.

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Teaching East Asian Literature Workshop

July 7-12, 2019

Indiana University Bloomington

Open to K-12 educators in All States


The East Asian Studies Center hosts an annual week-long, intensive summer workshop for K-12 English and world literature teachers who are interested in incorporating Chinese, Japanese, and Korean literature into their curriculum. Priority admission is reserved for high school educators. Following the workshop, each participant develops a complete lesson plan for at least one of the pieces covered in the workshop. Those who turn in their lesson plan by the deadline are eligible to receive a $300 book-buying grant.The workshop is generously funded by the Freeman Foundation. It is part of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) program, a national provider for professional development on East Asia to K-12 teachers.


Participation Benefits

Set of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean literary works covered in workshop (mailed to participants prior to workshop)

Free housing and at least one meal a day

Certificate of completion

Option to purchase three graduate credits from Indiana University

Book grant for purchasing East Asian literature for classroom use, provided upon completion of all requirements


Workshop Format

The workshop begins on Sunday, 7/7. Each morning, history professors lead lectures and discussions on specific facets of China, Japan, and Korea that are pertinent to the literary works covered. Topics discussed include history, religion, culture, family and gender, and language. Each afternoon literature professors discuss the short stories, novels, and poetry that participants have read prior to arrival at the workshop, focusing on universal as well as culture-specific aspects of the works. After the literature discussions, a high school world literature teacher with experience teaching East Asian literature acts as curriculum consultant, leading strategy sessions on how to teach the works at the high school level. Participants are also encouraged to attend Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultural activities during the day and film viewings in the evenings.


Particpants are responsible for paying a non-refundable registration fee, covering their travel expenses to and from Bloomington, and the cost of up to two (2) meals a day. Particpants will also be required to participate in online discussions prior to the workshop and submit one (1) lesson plan within five (5) weeks of close of the workshop. 


For more information visit here or contact eascout@indiana.edu

To apply visit here   or at https://easc.indiana.edu/machform/view.php?id=12289

Participation is limited to 25 teachers.

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Tradition, Exchange, and Innovation in Art: An Introduction to East Asian Visual Culture and Beyond

Tradition, Exchange, and Innovation in Art: An Introduction to East Asian Visual Culture and Beyond will look at moments in the transmission of culture vis-à-vis art forms produced and transmitted throughout and beyond East Asia. This course will focus on the production of art forms, such as scrolls, woodblock prints, ceramics, and architectural forms as episodes in exchange and innovation. This program is ideal for people who are interested in an introductory course on East Asian art history and cultural transmission, and those who are looking for a refresher on key art historical concepts. During this program, we will compare and contrast artistic productions of different styles and periods, while focusing on translating these artistic examples of tradition, exchange, and innovation into useful classroom materials. Course material include primary and secondary source materials, art historical approaches, in addition to resources for inclusion in the classroom. No prior knowledge of the subject matter is required.
This seminar is sponsored by the East Asia Resource Center University of Washington, in conjunction with the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA).
Dates:July 15-19, 2019
Time Detail:
8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (Monday-Thursday) 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m (Friday)
Location: University of Washington, Seattle. May include field trips.
Registration fee: $100
Dorm fee:$100
$100 Stipend
40 WA clock hours (or two University of Wshington credits for a fee)
Extensive course materials
**Dorm Rooms, meals, and partial travel stipends are available for participants from outside the Seattle metro area. 
Application Deadline: March 31, 2019
To apply: https://jsis.washington.edu/earc/tradition-exchange-and-innovation-in-ar...

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East Asia in the Early Modern World: A Summer Institute for Secondary Teachers

The Program for Teaching East Asia (TEA) at the University of Colorado Boulder

July 7-11, 2019

Boulder, Colorado

Program Description: What do sources from and about merchants, pirates, diplomats, missionaries, soldiers, and artists tell us about early modern East Asia? Examining various transborder institutions, practices, and people that contributed to the formation of the interconnected East Asian world (1271-1842), this four-day institute offers secondary teachers an opportunity to work with scholars and specialists to consider East Asia as a system that included but transcended the collective national histories of China, Japan, and Korea. In this institute, teachers will gain an understanding of the political, economic, and cultural systems of the early modern East Asian world and reconsider narratives of encounters and conflicts with European imperialist powers.

Eligibility Requirements:

This TEA-NCTA 2019 summer institute is open to U.S. secondary social studies teachers (grades 6-12). The institute is designed as a professional development program of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA). NCTA alumni nationwide, as well as teachers who have not participated in an NCTA program previously, are encouraged to apply. Enrollment is limited to 20 teachers. Preference will be given to teachers who demonstrate the opportunity to apply summer institute content to their 2019-2020 teaching assignments.

Participation Benefits:

  • On-campus dormitories 
  • Meal Packages
  • Teaching materials
  • $350 stipend 

Participants are responsible for travel to and from the summer institute, though a stipend of up to $350 will be provided to each participant to defray the costs of travel. A $125 non-refundable registration fee is required of all teachers accepting a place in the institute.

For more information, contact Catherine Ishida at catherine.ishida@colorado.edu

Apply here: CU Boulder Summer Institute Application 

Application Deadline: March 18, 2019

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