Initiated in 1997, Teaching East Asia: China seeks to promote and facilitate effective instruction about China in K-12 classrooms by offering professional development opportunities to teachers, as well as curriculum consultation to school districts.


China Summer Institutes

China Summer Institutes

TEA offers one-week summer institutes on topics in Chinese studies or transborder topics relevant to teaching about East Asia. Institutes are held on University of Colorado’s Boulder campus and are open to teachers from across the country. TEA’s China summer institutes 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 and English are also welcome to apply.

At the institutes, 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 follow-up responsibilities, a final stipend. Teachers may elect to take the institute for graduate credit through the University of Colorado.

2019 Summer Institute

East Asia in the Early Modern World, July 7-12, 2019. What do sources from and about merchants, pirates, diplomats, missionaries, soldiers, and artists tell us about early modern East Asia? Examining various transborder voyagers, institutions, and practices that contributed to the formation of the interconnected East Asian world (1271-1842), this institute offered secondary teachers an opportunity to work with scholars and specialists to consider East Asia as a system that included but transcended the collective national histories of China, Japan, and Korea. In this institute, teachers will gain an understanding of the political, economic, and cultural systems of the early modern East Asian world and reconsider narratives of encounters and conflicts with European imperialist powers.

2018 Summer Institute

Uneasy Neighbors, Legacies and Challenges in 21st-Century East Asia. July  8-14, 2018. Through a six-day program, the 2018 institute examined the recent past, present, and future of East Asian regional relations, considering China, Japan, Taiwan, and the Koreas. The program offered a framework and context for considering current issues by deconstructing the region’s “history  problem”—the enduring legacies and hotly contested national narratives of 20th-century conflict. Participants then had the opportunity to focus on current topics—national grand strategies and their regional impact, territorial disputes, economic cooperation and rivalries, the environment, demographics—and prospects for the East Asian regional order of the future.


2017 China Summer Institute

Critical Issues in Contemporary China. July 10-14, 2017. This five-day institute explored some of the most critical issues facing China’s leaders and people today, from political reform to environmental issues to foreign policy. Participants worked with China specialists to develop a well-rounded understanding of contemporary China and gain exemplary resources to use in the classroom.

Workshop Series

Colorado teachers can take advantage of TEA’s annual program of workshops on China throughout the school year. Recent workshop topics have included “China’s 21st-Century Transformations,” “China as an Emerging Global Leader,” and “China’s Environmental Challenges.” In-person workshops are on hiatus beginning March 2020 until further notice.  Upcoming Workshops page. To receive updates, sign up for the TEA mailing list.

China Resource Center

TEA’s China Resource Center includes videos, curriculum units, an academic library, and artifact trunks. Most materials are lent free of charge to teachers within commuting distance of the TEA offices; artifact trunks rent for a nominal fee.

Visits to Colorado Classrooms

Visits to Boulder Elementary Schools. As a local service project, TEA has offered an outreach program to Boulder Valley elementary classrooms by TEA-trained undergraduate interns from the University of Colorado’s Asian studies and Asian languages programs. This program is on hiatus beginning March 2020 until further notice.  For general information on local outreach by TEA, please see our Classroom Outreach page.