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Views of the East: Teaching China, Japan and Korea in Maine Schools An interdisciplinary institute for Maine teachers to strengthen teaching about East Asia

Katsura Imperial Villa, Kyoto-Japan
Credit: Freakland

The dates for Views of the East 2009
are May 1-2 and June 28-July 1, 2009.

This program is free to teachers grades 5-12 who teach courses in world history, world cultures, geography, art, music, drama or literature that include China, Japan, or Korea in the 2009-2010 school year. It is limited to 20 Maine teachers, public or private school, grades 5-12.

Participants completing the program receive a $500 stipend plus $500 in resources. Admission is competitive. Teams of teachers from the same school are encouraged to apply. Librarians and counselors are eligible to apply if teamed with a classroom teacher. CEUs are available.

This seminar is administered and sponsored by the Five College Center for East Asian Studies through the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia and funded in large part by a grant from the Freeman Foundation. In Maine, it is produced through the collaboration of the Maine Humanities Council and the World Affairs Council of Maine, with additional funding from Unum.


Now in its tenth year, Views of the East draws on Asian Studies specialists from Maine colleges and universities and elsewhere for an intellectually intense series of lectures, discussions, workshops, videos, and films in a collegial setting. It offers an overview of Chinese, Japanese and Korean history and culture as well as the opportunity to examine several topics in depth. The ideal applicant is an intellectually adventurous teacher willing to explore new material, to think "globally," and to read extensively on his or her own and who enjoys creating new curricular plans. No previous knowledge of East Asia is required.

Recent topics have included, for example, Marco Polo and the Silk Road, traditional Chinese religion, women in Japanese literature, the Three Gorges Dam project, water and mountains in Chinese art, East Asian cuisine, map-reading, Muslim minorities in Central Asia, calligraphy, contemporary film, and the legacy of Mao, among others. Participants were also invited to take part in a voluntary field trip to Boston's museums and Chinatown. The wikispace set up by 2008 program participants will give you a sense of what’s covered.

The 2009 program begins at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine on Friday, May 1, from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. and continues on Saturday, May 2 from 8:30 a.m. — 3 p.m. The residential summer component at Bowdoin runs from Sunday, June 28, starting at 4 p.m., to Wednesday, July 1 ending after lunch. All participants should plan to reside on campus for the June portion (unless they live within an hour's drive) because there will be required evening activities.

All costs for the institute except travel are covered, including tuition, room and board, materials, and use of Bowdoin's library and recreational facilities.


To be eligible, applicants must agree to

1) attend all the sessions, totaling 30 hours of classroom instruction,
2) develop a plan for incorporating China, Japan or Korea in their teaching,
3) teach such a course or courses in 2009-2010, and
4) attend a day-long follow-up session in spring 2010 to report on their curriculum.

The plan is due by July 15, 2009.

In return, participants in the program will be eligible for

1) $200 in books, maps, and a subscription to "Teaching About Asia" (all for personal use)
2) $300 in resources on East Asia for their school's library
3) a $300 personal stipend after submitting the lesson plan by July 15
4) a $200 personal stipend after attending the follow-up session in spring 2010.

In addition, they will be eligible for CEUs from the University of Southern Maine. They will also be eligible to apply to study tours of Japan, China or Korea in subsequent summers.


Download and complete the accompanying application, using additional pages as necessary. Please type or print legibly.

Each application must be signed by your principal.

Applications will be reviewed by a committee representing the sponsors. In addition to considering personal qualifications, the committee will seek to form a diverse group based on such factors as geographical location, grade level, subject area, and teaching experience. No previous teaching of East Asia or global studies is required. Teams as well as individuals are invited to apply (please indicate if you are part of a team).

If you want confirmation that your application has been received, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard.

Please send to:

Maine Humanities Council
674 Brighton Ave.
Portland, ME 04102-1012

postmarked no later than Friday, April 3, 2009. (The deadline has passed).

Questions? Please call Charles Calhoun or Martina Duncan at (207)773-5051.

updated April 2009

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