University of Pittsburgh
April 28, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, April 29 -- Four local high school teachers will accompany graduate and undergraduate students on the "Pitt in China" cultural and language program June 19 to July 10. The program is offered through the University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Program.

Barbara Bain, Gateway High School; Cindy McNulty, Oakland Catholic High School; Harold Ohm, South Park High School and Randy Whoric, Connellsville High School, will earn graduate credits for their three-week study at Beijing University. The teachers' experiences will aid in curriculum revisions to include Asian and Chinese international studies in world cultures and literature courses at their high schools.

"I'm hoping the ripple effect is going to be huge in the curriculum input these teachers have in their schools," said Diana M. Wood, Asian Studies Program research associate.

To prepare for their three-week stay in China, the teachers will attend a Pitt seminar, "The China You May Not Know About," to help understand China's politics and cultural interpretations of human and individual rights. They also must participate in two seminars on required reading and take the three-credit graduate workshop, "China in the High School Curriculum."

Following the Pitt in China experience, McNulty and Whoric will speak to the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies October 15. Their session, "Connecting Asian Peoples' History with our Students' Lives," will attempt to empower teachers to introduce Asian materials to various disciplines. McNulty will use the film "Raise the Red Lantern" to discuss traditional Chinese gender relationships and to explore issues of power and authority. Whoric's presentation on world cultures curriculum will investigate traditional Chinese values, their validity in China's culture today and ways students can understand these values.

Bain and Ohm will assist with a one-day in-service workshop for area teachers next autumn.

To subsidize the cost of this program, the four teachers won fellowships through the Freeman Foundation Grant.