University of Pittsburgh



Shattering Myths: Teaching About the Diversity of East Asia in the K-12 Classroom 

A free in-person seminar for K-12 Educators  

Funded by the Freeman Foundation and presented by the Asian Studies Center, University Center for International Studies, University of Pittsburgh and the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia 



“All Asia is [NOT] One.” East Asia is a culturally diverse and historically rich region. This seminar will enhance your classroom’s curriculum by providing content and resources for teaching about cultural diversity through the window of China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The seminar is designed for all K-12 educators and will provide you with a foundational East Asia survey, with emphasis on the theme of cultural diversity. Sessions include presentations by scholars and master teachers, hands-on activities, and discussions of resources and teaching strategies, including tools for online learning. 



Application Deadline: September 7, 2023 or until course fills




All classes are held in 4130 Posvar Hall at University of Pittsburgh Oakland campus.

Parking stickers will be provided for free parking. 


Seminar Location: Room 4132 Wesley Posvar Hall, University of Pittsburgh Main Campus, Pittsburgh, PA 15260.

Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m. (Dinner provided) 

Dates and Class Session Topics:

  • Monday, September 11, 2023 - Geography and Climate Matters
  • Monday, September 18 - Chinese Thought Systems and the Chinese Writing System
  • Monday, October 2 - Buddhism for the Unenlightened and Dynasty Smackdown
  • Monday, October 16 - The Shinto faith & The Art of Origami
  • Monday, October 30 - Chinese Music and Instruments & the Joy of Tangrams
  • Monday, November 6 - Women Authors in the Japanese Imperial Court
  • Monday, November 20 - Cracking the Samurai Code and the Concept of Play in the Tokugawa Period
  • Monday, December 4 - The Korean Language and an Introduction to Taiwan
  • Monday, December 11 - Teaching About Korean Culture
  • Monday, January 8, 2024 - Vietnam: Shattering Stereotypes Past and Present


An additional Follow-up Session(s) (6 hours total) required in the Spring of 2024 (date to be decided with class members’ input). 



Benefits for Participants 


Each participant who completes the course and course requirements will receive: 


  • $230 worth of teaching materials for your classroom, including the course textbook, a one-year subscription to the journal Education About Asia, additional materials such as a set of tangrams and a calligraphy set, and a $100 mini-grant for purchase of approved materials for your classroom. (The purpose of the mini-grant is to get teaching materials into “brick and mortar” schools. Due to the increasing variety of our seminar participants, not all participants may be able to receive a mini-grant. Please consult with us about this early in the course.) 
  • $300 stipend at the completion of all requirements including attendance at the follow up classes.
  • Certificate of Completion (36 hours) PA educators will receive 2 continuing education/in-service credits (60 Act 48 hours) and 6 additional Act 48 hours for the follow up session.  
  • NCTA alumni are eligible to apply for NCTA GEEO study tours to East Asia and are also eligible for small grants such as the Marie Wanek Fund, travel subsidies for conferences, and other benefits that we offer from time to time; NCTA alumni are also often given priority preference in competitive applications for summer institutes, Fulbright-Hayes study tours to East Asia and other programs. Our office also writes letters of recommendations for alumni who apply to competitive study tours and summer institutes. All alumni will receive a weekly NCTA email newsletter with information about free professional development programs and teaching resources. 



Seminar Requirements  

  • Expressed commitment to integrating East Asia into your curriculum. 
  • In addition, to complete the seminar and receive the benefits, you must fulfill the following requirements: Attend and participate in all sessions (36 contact hours, with 30 hours in the fall/winter and 6 hours in the spring)  Complete all assignments and requirements, including designing a lesson plan that incorporates East Asian material into your curriculum, writing a “reflection paper” and completing a mini-grant form for your teaching materials. (A full list of assignments will be posted on our website.)


  • Each participant is expected to come to class prepared to participate in class discussions. Each week there will be a short writing assignment, or some other short assignment based on the readings for that class.  



Application Deadline: September 7, 2023 or until course fills



Seminar state: