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Japan Project

  • Overview

Teaching East Asia: Japan has been providing services to K-12 teachers and schools since 1985 through its summer institutes, study tours, one-day workshops, and special projects. See the Upcoming Workshops page for this year's offerings.

Japan Summer Institutes

Japan Summer Institutes

TEA Japan hosts intensive summer institutes on Japanese history and contemporary issues at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Typically, our Japan Institute alternates every other year with TEA's China Institute.

TEA's Japan summer institutes are open to teachers from around the country and are generally targeted to secondary teachers of world history, world literatures, Asian studies, and international relations, but teachers of other subjects such as U.S. history, art, and English are also welcome to apply.

Participants work with scholars from CU-Boulder and other leading institutions and develop plans for revising their own curriculum related to the topic of the institute. TEA covers lodging, meals, and the majority of travel expenses. In addition, participants receive institute texts, relevant curriculum resources, and, upon completion of all follow-up responsibilities, a final stipend. Teachers may elect to take the institute for graduate credit through the University of Colorado.

2016 Summer Institute

Japan’s Olympic Challenges: 20th-Century Legacies, 21st-Century Aspirations. July 10-15, 2016. Open to secondary social studies teachers nationwide, this five-day institute explored the impact of enduring issues on contemporary Japanese society, government, global and intra-Asian relations as Japan prepares to present itself as a 2st-century leader at the 2020 Olympics. Closed

This institute was funded by NCTA and the United States-Japan Foundation as part of “Olympic Opportunity: Re-prioritizing Japan in the Classroom.”

Study Tour Note: Participants in this institute will qualify for an on-site summer seminar in Tokyo in 2017, pending funding.

"Visualizing Japan in Modern World History"
"Visualizing Japan: Teaching Japanese History through the Arts"
"Visualizing Japan: Case Studies for Teaching Japanese History through the Arts"
"Middle Kingdom ~ Rising Sun: Episodes in the Modern History of Sino-Japanese Relations"

2014 Summer Institute

2014 TEA-NCTA Japan Summer Institute: Texts and Contexts: Teaching Japan through Children's Literature, June 22-26, 2014
TEA and NCTA offered a 4-day summer residential institute for elementary teachers on the CU-Boulder campus. The institute intoduced several exemplary works of children's literature about Japan and explored strategies for using children's literature as the core of instruction about Japan's history and culture at the elementary grades.

“Reading” Japan: Modern Japanese History, Informational Texts, and Common Core Standards, July 14-21, 2014. In this TEA-NCTA workshop, alumni teachers explored a critical period in Japanese and world history: the period of Japan’s modernization and international expansion from 1888 through the 1930s. This working program combined advance online video lectures and onsite lectures by specialists of the time period with small group and individual work in resource exploration, analysis, and lesson development. The workshop will produce a set of lessons that integrate source material (including art, primary sources, secondary informational sources, memoir, fiction) to teach Japanese history using pedagogical approaches and materials that address Common Core standards.

Workshop Series

Colorado teachers can take advantage of an annual program of school year workshops on Japan. Past workshop topics have included: "Reinventing Japan: the Postwar Years 1945-1989," "Hands-On Japan: A Mini-Workshop for Elementary Teachers," and "Art of the Edo Period: New Resources for Teaching Japanese History through the Arts." See our Upcoming Workshops page for more information about current and upcoming workshops.

Japan Resource Center

Built with support from the Japanese Consulate, the US-Japan Foundation, the Freeman Foundation, and contributions from teachers and publishers, TEA's Japan Resource Center offers teachers in the western United States an extensive collection of curriculum resources on Japan. Most materials are lent free of charge to teachers in the western United States; artifact trunks rent for a nominal fee. Please see our Japan Resource Center page for full details.

Japanese Woodblock Print Collection

TEA offers a collection of 30 late-Edo period (1800-1850s) woodblock prints for instructional use to educators at all levels. Click here to see sample prints and learn how to borrow the collection for use in your own classroom.

Visits to Colorado Classrooms

Visits to Boulder Elementary Schools. In a local service project, TEA works with undergraduate interns from the University of Colorado's Asian studies and Asian languages programs to offer Asian language (Japanese, Chinese, and Hindi) and culture activities to Boulder Valley School District's elementary classrooms. CU students are available for one-day and longer assignments to classrooms, where they assist by teaching simple language, culture, and education lessons. For more information, please see our Classroom Outreach page.