There are three lessons in this component. In order to finish the component, choose two of the three lessons, follow instructions, and when you send me your work and I approve it, the component will be completed.
For each of the two topics you selected to complete this assignment, answer the required question and the optional question that is relevant to your situation.Your answers to both questions should range from 250-500 words (about two double spaced pages in 12 pt. font). This is 250- 500 total, not 250- 500 words each. You may send your answers to me in an email or as an email attachment. You may send your answers to me by either email or email attachment in a Word document. Please use the title of the unit you are reading as your email subject header.
The major objective of this lesson is to assist teachers in better understanding significant contemporary issues in East Asia. Three topics, North Korea, the economic rise of China, and Japan in the 21st century are included as topic choices in the lesson. You should select two of these three topics, depending upon your interests, and work through the content. Short introductions are provided below with accompanying questions at the end of the assignment.
- (required) In what ways has the assignment increased your understanding of China, Japan, or Korea?
- (optional) What concepts, content, or materials from this topic can you use with students and how might you use the concepts, content, or materials?
- (optional) If you are not able to use this topic in your own class, how might you share it with other teachers in your school? What particular aspects of the topic will you stress with your colleagues? Why?
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a communist dictatorship whose leader, Kim Jong Il, is unpredictable and heads one of the most secretive regimes of the 21st century. The DPRK and its intentions constitute a major geopolitical concern for Northeast Asia and the world. The regime also has created a society with an almost total absence of freedom for its citizens. This lack of freedom is the major focus of the content below. Kongdan Oh, one of the leading experts on the DPRK is featured. You have the option of viewing Dr. Oh’s lecture, reading a print version of the presentation she prepared, or listening to audio of the lecture. Dr. Oh originally presented this address at a Foreign Policy Research Institute conference for middle and high school history and social studies teachers in May 2007 in Philadelphia.
One of the major events in recent world history has been China’s economic rise. In the early 1980s Chinese per capita income was at the level of the African continent and today it is equal on average to Latin America; a tremendous increase in less than two decades. Depending upon how GDP is calculated, China has either the second or the third largest economy in the world. Nicholas Lardy, Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, is not only one of the world's leading authorities on the Chinese economy but also presents economics in lucid English that is understandable to those without a background in the discipline. You have the option of either listening to Dr Lardy’s lecture or reading a print version. Dr. Lardy originally made this presentation at a Foreign Policy Research Institute Conference at Carthage College in Wisconsin in October 2006.
One of the most popular articles in Education About Asia’s (the journal I edit) history was a piece by Columbia Japan specialist Carol Gluck entitled, "Top ten things to know about Japan in the late 1990s." Ten years later, in the winter 2008 issue of EAA, the article was updated. On another front, when I first began serious work on Japan 26 years ago, students who were interested in Japan usually mentioned Japan’s educational system, economy, management techniques, and perhaps Zen, as reasons for their interest. Now students who are interested in Japan usually mention "Japanese culture" if I ask them what motivated them to learn about Japan. What they usually mean is Japanese popular culture; e.g. manga, anime, and food. William Tsutsui’s "Nerd Nation: Otaku and Youth Subcultures in Contemporary Japan," also published in EAA, is an excellent overview of an increasingly globally popular Japanese youth subculture.
Carol Gluck, "Top Ten Things to Know About Japan in the Early Twenty-first Century," EAA (3):5-11.
William Tsutsui, "Nerd Nation: Otaku and Youth Subcultures in Contemporary Japan," EAA (3):12-18.