University of Pennsylvania 2021

Pennsylvania K-12 educators may now apply for Summer 2021 Pitt NCTA Virtual Seminars.

Please click on the link below for a complete listing of our online summer foundational East Asia seminars across our region that you can apply to:

You may also apply to your local NCTA Virtual Seminar and join with educators in your area:

Cultural Identities and Cross Cultural Connections in East Asia:

Influences from the Classical Period to the Present

A Pitt NCTA Seminar with the University of Pennsylvania

Offered to K-12 educators in states in the Pitt NCTA region: Alabama, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia 

Dates: June 21 (M), 22 (T), 24 (Th), 28 (M), 29 (T), and July 1 (Th); Orientation May 22; Date of Follow-up class to be decided in consultation with the participants.

Format: Each day's programming will have lectures and discussions in the mornings, 9am-12pm EDT, followed by group work, discussions, and workshop activities in the afternoons 1-3pm EDT.

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. daily with a one hour lunch break (EDT); 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Central Time

Location: six synchronous sessions via Zoom

A seminar for educators featuring top scholars and pratictioners in history, art, and literature, with workshops on music, food, calligraphy and museum visits.

Designed to deepen your knowledge of China, Japan, Korea, this course will encourage teaching and learning about East Asia’s political, social, and cultural history. Each session is built around a content speaker and group discussion, making the seminar perfect for K-12 teachers of World History, World Cultures, Geography, Economics, Language and Language Arts, Literature, Visual and Performing Arts.

Topics will include:

  • Foundations: Confucianism, Buddhism and Buddhist art in context
  • Early Chinese civilization: Han, Tang and Song Dynasties

  • Early Japan and Korea: Art, literature and history

  • East Asia in the Early Modern World: history and the arts

  • Discrimination in East Asia: nationality politics and racism
  • Contemporary East Asia

Highlighted activities will include:

  • Virtual museum tours

  • Interactive food activities: pulling noodles and Japanese tea ceremony demonstration

  • Musical demonstrations of Japanese and Chinese instruments

  • Interactive brush painting activity

Application Form: 

Application Deadline: May 15, 2021

K-12 educators may apply for more than one NCTA summer seminar but may only participate in one of these seminars offered by the Pitt NCTA. For other seminars offered this summer, see the webpages for: Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, Lehigh University in Pennsylvania and Shepherd University in West Virginia. 

Learn how to engage your students with the wider world by incorporating East Asia into your curriculum. Meet standards in your state with the content and resources that you can use to enrich your teaching and broaden your students’ knowledge. Learn from scholars of East Asia and NCTA master teachers, and meet other educators like yourself.

A Pitt NCTA seminar will broaden your approach to the standards and issues of concern to students. Designed as an introduction to the cultures of China, Japan, and Korea, the course will encourage and facilitate K-12 teaching and learning about East Asia in World History, Geography, Social Studies, Art, and World Literature. Each seminar also touches upon topics such as diversity in world history, Asian cultural identities, geography in history and culture. Develop lesson plans for your current courses. Learn how to use NCTA online resources for in person, hybrid and online classes.

Certificate of Completion (36 hours) will be given to all K-12 educators who complete the course requirements. Pennsylvania teachers will receive 36 hours of Act 48.

Benefits for educators who complete all seminar requirements

All Pitt NCTA 36 hour seminars provide:

$200 worth of materials for educators, including a textbook and subscription to Education About Asia journal

$100 mini-grant for additional teaching materials 

$200 stipend (after completion of all assignments and seminar meetings)

Certificate of Completion (36 hours)

36 hours of Act 48 for PA teachers available through University of Pennsylvania

Other Professional Development hours/credit possible, depending on the seminar site

NCTA alumni have access to alumni newsletters with updates on free programs, online resources, recommended books and films, and opportunities for travel to East Asia.


The seminar addresses the following standards taken from several state documents as well as the AP World History curriculum:

Visual Art Standards:
•    Discover how cultural differences impact personal perceptions
•    Understand how cultural factors affect what contemporary artists create
•    Explain how individual artists impact cultural developments.

Social Studies: World history and Geography

Theme: Religion
•    Growth and Interactions of World Religions, and Intensifying Trade Networks and Contacts
•    Diffusion of World Religions – evaluate the impact of the diffusion of world religions and belief systems on social, political, cultural, and economic systems.

Theme: Migrations and Cultural Exchanges
•    Global Revolutions, Worldwide Migrations and Population Changes, and Increasing Global Interconnections
•    Power and Resistance, Global Conflict, Genocide in the 20th Century, and Technological, Scientific, and Cultural Exchanges

Social Studies: World Studies from 750 BC to 1600 BC
•    Empires in Africa and Asia grew as commercial and cultural centers along traderoutes.

Geography Strand
•    Trade routes connecting Africa, Europe and Asia helped foster the spread of ideas, technology, goods and major world religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism) that impacted the Eastern Hemisphere.
•    Improvements in transportation, communication and technology have facilitated cultural diffusion among peoples around the world.

Social Studies: World History and Contemporary Studies
Demonstrate an understanding of imperialism throughout the world.
• Summarize the establishment of colonies in Asia.
• Illustrate the significant political, commercial, and cultural changes that took place in China.
• Compare the political actions of European, Asian, and African nations in the era of imperial expansion European, Asian, and African nations in the era of imperial expansion.


Seminar state: