Life on the Margins: A Cross-Cultural Examination of Assigning Responsibility and the Power of Education (Grades 7-12) by Roxanne Binaso, 2015

The purpose of this unit is to analyze what causes certain groups, specifically migrant workers and poor women, to be marginalized in Chinese and American society. After exploring several news articles and primary sources, students will then determine who is responsible for lifting these marginalized people out of their current situation. They will evaluate how effective governments and individual advocates have been in alleviating suffering and injustice for these people by analyzing several case studies. In both Chinese and American society, education is posited as a surefire vehicle to escape marginalization and poverty. Students will determine whether the Gaokao and standardized tests, such as the new Common Core Exams and SAT, in America provide ample, true opportunity for advancement. They will then analyze how pressure from standardized testing contributes to stereotypical Chinese-American expectations about education and the "Tiger Mom" mentality.

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A Global Perspective on Cities of the Future: Focus on China (High School) by Cholehna Weaver, 2015

This series of lessons presents the broad challenges associated with global urbanization, examines the existing challenges in China as it shifts to a majority urban population, and analyzes possible steps and plans to achieving a more sustainable urban environment as new cities are established in China and around the world. The lesson is broken into three sections beginning with an examination of population growth as it relates to urbanization, challenges associated with crowded cities, and an examination of new technologies being rolled out around the world aimed at producing a more sustainable city model. Each portion of the lesson draws in specific examples, current events, or trends from China’s recent and rapid development. Links and videos are embedded within the powerpoint and throughout the lesson plan that can serve as supplements and extensions based on classroom need, student interest, and background knowledge. The format of the lesson lends itself to be taught in a variety of formats including whole class, individual student research, or in some cases, a flipped-classroom model (where some of the online instruction can occur at home. The culminating activity provides an opportunity for the synthesis of discussions, research, and personal creativity as students make suggestions of how to design cities of the future to better meet the impending challenges and environmental status within a rapidly urbanizing world. Before beginning the lesson, students should have an understanding about the basics of population growth, vocabulary associated with urbanization, and basic practices in sustainability. Several resources within the “Handouts” section provide resources for introducing this topic more generally.

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Guided Presentation

Tibet:  Why it is Important to China? A Geographic Perspective (Middle School) by Paul Kaliszewski, 2015

The following five day unit plan focuses on the importance of the Plateau of Tibet, generally, and the Tibetan Autonomous Republic (TAR), specifically, to the People’s Republic of China from a geographical perspective. While there has been much recent scholarship on Tibet at the university level, Tibet remains an area either largely ignored in K-12 curricula or, if covered, is presented in a very romantic, biased (usually, anti-Chinese) manner. The purpose of this unit is to demonstrate the importance of the TAR to China in geo-political terms in order to better understand China’s stance on this often highly contentious area.

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Answer Key

KWLQ Chart

Linking China Past and Present to PYP Units of Inquiry through Thinking Routines (Elementary School) by Eleanor Dooling, 2014

The purpose of this project is to help elementary age students develop a better understanding of both the rich history and the rapidly changing modern day China using information and images gathered during a month long seminar in China as part of the Fulbright-Hays delegation. The curriculum project I have created consists of three lesson plans, each targeted to a specific grade and Unit of Inquiry as indicated below. However, each lesson could be adapted or modified to use with a younger or older elementary grade.

The Primary Years Program is a curriculum framework that is inquiry based, in which students use their experiences and prior knowledge to formulate questions to learn new concepts and construct meaning. The PYP is comprised of six trans-disciplinary themes that allow students to explore topics across content areas. These overarching themes of Who we areWhere we are in place and timeHow we express ourselvesHow the world worksHow we organize ourselves and Sharing the planet, inform and guide each grade level’s six units of inquiry each year. The identified lines of inquiry, the key concepts targeted, and the learning objectives for each lesson are detailed below. Each lesson contains a thinking routine. Through the use of thinking routines in the classroom all students are actively engaged in discussion. These routines help children to verbalize and visualize their thinking, cultivating active participation and processing.

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Notes from Powerpoint Presentation  

Tidbits of China: A Website for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students (K-12) by Sherry Humphries, 2014

This project is a culmination of my experiences in China with the 2014 Fulbright-Hays program.  Thanks to that program, I was able to visit a variety of historical sites, learn about the culture, and meet many interesting people.

The goal of this project is to provide accessible information for deaf and hard-of-hearing students through video clips that incorporate sign language, spoken English and English print.

Students will be able to explore the website and view the videos.  This will help students become familiar with historical sites and the culture of China.  The site can be used by students individually or as an introduction to a specific topic by the teacher.

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Using the Five Themes of Geography to Teach About China (6th Grade) by Catherine Christensen, 2014

This interdisciplinary unit may be used as an introduction to the Five Themes of Geography:  location, place, human-environmental interaction, movement, and region.

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Automobility in China (College) by Toni Marzotto, 2012

The project is part of an interdisciplinary course taught in the Political Science Department entitled: The Machine that Changed the World: Automobility in an Age of Scarcity. This course looks at the effects of mass motorization in the United States and compares it with other countries. The objective in teaching this interdisciplinary course is to provide students with an understanding of how the invention of the automobile in the 1890’s has come to dominate the world in which we live. Today an increasing number of individuals, across the globe, depend on the automobile for many activities. Although the United States was the first country to embrace mass motorization (there are more cars per 1000 inhabitants in the United States than in any other country in the world), other countries are catching up. This project looks specifically at the growth of China’s car culture and its impact on Chinese culture and society.

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Gender and Migrant Labor in China (College) by Lynne Wolforth, 2012

This project focuses primarily on women and development. While a gender class can focus on how both men and women experience the impact of capitalism and the integration of each into the global market economy, we will focus on women, primarily. This material will be used in an anthropology class on women in cross-cultural perspective; it might also be appropriate for any gender class, an anthropology and economic development class, an economics class (Economic Development), a sociology class (Comparative Social Inequalities), and a history class (China at the Crossroads).

The project is planned for 4 weeks of a standard 15-week semester. It will lead up to one book: <i>Factory Girls</i> by Leslie T. Chang. While this is not ethnography, it has been chosen because of its intimate portrayal of two young women.  This makes it ethnographic in nature without the burden of heavy anthropological theory. This allows the project to be generalized. 

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China's Demographics: Population Trends and Challenges (High School) by Timothy Evans, 2013

China’s population will experience significant changes over the next forty years that will have profound impacts on the economic and social fabric of China. The changes are largely attributable to the effects of the One-Child Policy as well as the effects of economic development. It is important for students to understand the ways in which these demographic trends will potentially challenge the long-term economic and social health of the most populous country in the world. In studying these trends students will gain a deeper understanding of the relationships between a country’s population and its economic and social health. Upon completion of these lessons students will be able to:

• Graph China’s demographic transition since 1950
• Determine the relationship between the One-Child Policy and China’s demographic transition
• Compare and contrast China’s current and future population pyramids
• Evaluate the potential strengths and weaknesses of China’s future population as it relates to economic and social health
• Map and explain details surrounding the geographic qualities of China’s internal economic inequality

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Teaching Chinese Culture with an Emphasis on Youth Culture in China (College) by Carol Schmid, 2012

The goal of this unit is to have students compare Chinese and American cultural systems with an emphasis on current youth culture in China.  Comparative policies and practices of national cultures are very important.  It is not possible to understand China today without understanding how the culture influences everyday life and politics.  Conflict between cultures is often related to a misunderstanding or lack of understanding of the other culture.  This is also true of the relationship between China and the United States.  I concentrate the analysis on several Chinese traditional and youth core values.  These are represented in the power point that is attached and include:

  • Societal and interpersonal relations
  • Harmony and respect for society and established order
  • Conformity and group goals vs. individual interests
  • Role of values, norms, mores and folkways, and informal customs
  • Ascribed v. achieved roles
  • Changing values of youth and youth cultures

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China in a Changing World (College/HS) by Rebecca Orozco, 2012

This project will examine China’s attempts to balance economic development with cultural and historic preservation. The last few decades of exponential growth have created new cities of factories and housing often destroying historic structures in the need for rapid expansion. It will examine the challenges facing China in their struggle to preserve a past of which they are justly proud while creating a society where basic infrastructure is available to all.

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Fulbright - Hays Seminars Abroad

Fulbright - Hays Seminars Abroad

Administered by the Committee from 1981 to 2015, the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program sent American pre-collegiate and college-level educators to several cities in China for 4-5 weeks each summer. It offered an opportunity to gain valuable, first-hand insights into a country that has become an important element in American education across the curriculum. Through the intensive program of briefings and site visits, educators enhanced their ability to teach about Chinese culture, history, politics, economics, and other areas.

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