University of Pittsburgh
November 15, 2001

Pitt Uses Interactive Television to Expand Reach of Popular East Asia Seminar for Secondary School Teachers to Johnstown and Bradford

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Using interactive television, the University of Pittsburgh is expanding the reach of its popular East Asia seminar for middle and high school teachers beyond Pitt's main campus in Oakland to its regional campuses in Johnstown and Bradford.

Designed for teachers of world cultures, world history, geography, economics, and literature, the seminar will be taught by its founder and principal instructor, historian Diana Marston Wood, assistant director of Pitt's Asian Studies Program and coordinator of the Pittsburgh site of the National Consortium for Teaching Asia (NCTA). Joining her will be faculty from the University of Pittsburgh.

Now in its third year, the seminar was created to meet the need for the development of comprehensive curricula about East Asia by middle and high school teachers. It is offered free for those who qualify. Teachers who attend the seminar are not assumed or required to have any previous background in Asian studies.

According to a report of the National Commission on Asia in the Schools, there is a need for more education about Asia in American schools because, "[while] learning about Asia can enrich personal and intellectual growth, it is clear that, as a nation, deeper understanding of Asia will be critical to sustaining our economic well-being, improving our living standard, opening new markets, maintaining peace, and embracing cultural diversity."

"This seminar will provide teachers with both the content and resources needed to implement the study of East Asia into their curricula in accordance with Pennsylvania academic standards, as well as geography and world history standards," said Wood. "While the overall framework is historical, there is a heavy emphasis on literature. The seminar's approach is both interdisciplinary and designed to provide a forum for demonstrating effective East Asian curriculum materials."

The 30-hour seminar will be offered in three-hour sessions on selected Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings from Jan. 19 to May 4, 2002. While the seminar will originate from Pitt's Oakland campus, Wood will present a class session from each satellite site at least once during the seminar.