The mission of the Program for Teaching East Asia (TEA) is to enhance and expand teaching and learning about East Asia in U.S. K-12 education. TEA was established in 1985 as the Rocky Mountain Japan Project. It became the Program for Teaching East Asia in 1998, with generous funding from the Freeman Foundation to undertake programs focusing on China as well as Japan. In 2001, TEA moved to the University of Colorado Boulder. TEA is affiliated with the University’s Center for Asian Studies (CAS).
TEA conducts national, regional, and state projects for teachers and students, funded by federal and private foundation grants. TEA’s current projects include the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA); the China Project, including “STARTALK: Chinese Language Instruction in the Digital Age”; the Japan Project, and the Korea Project. These projects focus on curriculum development, professional development for teachers, and curriculum consultation and reform related to East Asia in K-12 education. Specific project activities include an annual offering of online seminars and workshops; annual summer institutes, and occasional study tours in East Asia for teachers.
In addition to its projects, TEA also offers educators in the western United States a large curriculum resource center that includes teaching units for elementary and secondary levels; CD-ROMs; documentaries and feature films; a collection of Japanese woodblock prints; a collection of kamishibai (Japanese children’s story boards); books of scholarship, literature, and children’s literature; and artifact trunks. TEA staff are available for consultation on curriculum and materials selection.