Free Intensive Asian Studies Enrichment Program Open to Area Teachers

Graduates receive $1,000 in stipends and study materials, possible study tour of East Asia

Release Date: October 12, 2007


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Five College Center for East Asian Studies (FCCEAS) at Smith College will sponsor a free, intensive 30-hour, six-session seminar for middle and high school teachers in Western New York.

The seminar, "East Asia Then and Now: China, Japan, and Korea in New York State Schools" will be held beginning Dec. 8 at the University at Buffalo, with academic and logistical support from the UB Asian Studies Program. It will be one of at least 50 such programs supported throughout the United States by the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA).

The seminar is intended for new and experienced teachers of sixth-grade social studies, Global History I or II, AP World History, or a course in social studies, art or literature in which East Asia is an important part of the curriculum. Substitute teachers are eligible as well.

It will explore East Asian geography, philosophies, religions, history, literatures and art, as identified in the New York State Core Curriculum.

Participants will be given a series of stipends to assist their study and teaching. They also will be eligible for college or professional credit and for the opportunity to apply to travel to East Asia through NCTA or other programs.

The application can be found online at the UB Asian Studies Web site: For further information, contact Elizabeth Felmet at (716) 645-3474 ext. 1114 or

Enrollment is limited to 20 applicants; early application is encouraged.

Completed forms must be sent to Terry Noonan, 8 Trailwood Circle, Rochester, N.Y. 14618 by the Nov. 15 application deadline.

Seminar participants will meet on the UB North (Amherst) Campus for six five-hour sessions on Dec. 8, Jan. 26, Feb. 9, March 15, April 5 and May 3.

Instructors will include Asia scholars from UB, Niagara University, Buffalo State College and other local campuses, and master teachers from area school districts.

Those who finish the course will receive a $300 stipend, $200 worth of teaching materials and a $300 grant to purchase additional materials for their schools. When it is verified that the materials are in the school and the curriculum is being taught, participants will receive an additional $200 stipend.

Participants also will be eligible for possible field study in China, Japan or Korea (pending funding) and can apply for graduate credit, professional development or in-service credit in keeping with the policy of their home school district.

This will be the second time the seminar has been offered in the Buffalo area.

In 2005-06, 19 local teachers completed the program. Although the program asked a lot of them in terms of time and preparation, participants say they found it invaluable in helping them introduce their students to East Asian traditions as well as to the rapidly expanding role East Asians are playing in world politics and economics.

Several of the teacher-graduates have gone on to attend additional workshops on East Asia and to travel to China, Japan and Korea. Among them are Laura Widman of Kenmore West High School, who traveled to Korea and Japan as part of the NCTA program.

Kristin Stapleton, director of the Asian Studies Program at UB, has participated in the work of the national consortium for many years. In the summer of 2007, she accompanied a group of teachers who completed the seminar program on a follow-up study tour to China.

"Teachers who have experienced the NCTA seminar are fired up about sharing their knowledge with their students," she says.

"When they get a chance to travel to East Asia, they are ready to seize the opportunity to learn more and enrich their classes still further by gathering materials, taking photos, and simply experiencing life in this very dynamic part of the world."

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