2019-2020 NCTA Regional Teacher Workshops

Please continue to monitor this site for information about other regional workshops planned elsewhere in Tennessee. 

NCTA Regional Saturday half day small group workshops with accompanying digital activities are currently being planned for various locations in Tennessee in fall 2019 and spring 2020. NCTA workshops and related activities will particularly focus upon the new Tennessee Social Studies Standards. Interested participants who complete the regional 2019-2020  workshop and digital pedagogical programs will learn about East Asia, receive stipends and earn either NCTA alumni or receive additional NCTA credit if they are current alumni. The 2019-2020  program will also enable teachers to utilize fourteen NCTA teaching modules recently developed by seven Tennessee NCTA Faculty Fellows. Over 2,000 educators have already utilized these modules.

Workshop 1

“Learning and Teaching East Asia in Middle and High Schools"

Saturday, October 19th, 2019

8:30 am–1:45 pm

Belmont University, Nashville, TN

Download an application for the program here.

Sponsored by the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA), the UTC Asia Program, and the Belmont University Asian Studies Department

NCTA, funded by the Freeman Foundation, is a multi-year initiative to encourage and facilitate teaching and learning about East Asia in elementary and secondary schools nationwide. NCTA is a premier provider of professional development on East Asia. The UTC Asia Program has been a recipient of NCTA funding for 22 years. Successful teacher completion of a 30 hour’s credit in NCTA program(s) qualifies educators to engage in additional Asian studies professional development programs in the US and abroad. NCTA Credits can be earned in one seminar or in increments. NCTA alumni also receive professional development credit and are eligible for optional graduate university credit. Complimentary print and digital resources are provided for teacher-participants and accepted participants who complete the professional development program each receive $200 stipends.

In 2019-2020, we are sponsoring four small group seminars in different areas of Tennessee and seek ten especially committed teachers from the greater Nashville metropolitan area who are interested in learning and effectively teaching about East Asia. Accepted applicants will be asked to do preliminary preparation for workshop 1 (earning NCTA credits for preparatory work) attend and participate in the October 19th workshop, and subsequently learn more about a particular East Asia topic and implement what they’ve learned in relevant courses. Participants will be particularly encouraged in their post workshop professional development, although not required, to utilize part or all of at least one of the 14 digital 2018 NCTA Teaching Modules that seven award-winning Tennessee teachers authored. Over 2,000 educators have now used these instructional materials. With the exception of one STEM module, all modules are specifically aligned to the new Tennessee Social Studies Standards, although educators in social studies and the humanities throughout the nation are using the modules. For further information about the modules, visit:

The UTC Asia Program 2018 NCTA Teaching Modules Digest

October 19 Workshop 1 Schedule: Learning and Teaching East Asia in Middle and High Schools

8:30 am–8:45 am: Welcome and Introductions

8:45 am–9:45 am: “Integrating East Asia into World and US History,” Lucien Ellington, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

9:45 am–9:55 am: Break
9:55 am–11:10 am: “Confucianism and Japanese Popular Culture,” Christopher Born, Belmont University

11:10 am–11 55 am: “Learning East Asian History, Politics, and Economics through Literature” Lucien Ellington

11:55:am –12:00 pm Break

12:00 pm–12:45 pm: “What Should Your Students Know About East Asia?” Lucien Ellington and Ronnie Littlejohn

12:45 pm–1:30 pm: Box Lunch, “Belmont University Asian Studies Program: Student and Teacher Opportunities,” Ronnie Littlejohn

1:30 pm–1:45 pm: Workshop 1 Evaluations and Conclusion.

Belmont University Workshop Leaders

Ronnie Littlejohn is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Asian Studies at Belmont University and Concurrent Professor in the School of Foreign Languages, Zhengzhou University (PRC).  He is the author of over 60 articles and 9 books, including the recent titles: Historical Dictionary of Daoism (2019), Chinese Philosophy: An Introduction (2016); Confucianism (2011, Chinese translation 2019) and Daoism: An Introduction (2010). He has Co-Directed and taught numerous NCTA workshops since 2008.

Lucien Ellington is UC Foundation Professor of Education at UTC, Tennessee NCTA coordinator, and Director of the Asia Program. Ellington is founding editor of Education About Asia and editor of Key Issues in Asian Studies. He is the author of several books on Japan and numerous articles and essays on East Asia, economic history, and social studies education. He has extensive experience as a workshop coordinator and study tour director.

Christopher Born is an Assistant Professor and teaches courses in Asian Studies and Japanese language. Dr. Born’s research interests include modern Japanese literature, Japan’s Christian heritage, Japanese woodblock prints, and anime and manga. He is the author of “In the Footsteps of the Master: Confucian Values in Anime and Manga” (AsiaNetwork Exchange, Vol. XVII, No. 1, Fall 2009) wherein he examines how traditional values are re-envisioned in recent shōnen anime and manga.

Who is eligible for this professional development program?

Any public or private school middle or high school social studies or humanities teacher is eligible for this professional development program. In particular, we seek educators who are eager to learn about East Asia and have the potential for impacting both students and colleagues. We are particularly interested in teachers who desire further opportunities to learn about or visit East Asian countries. First preference will be given to interested educators who live in Nashville or within a 50-mile radius of the Nashville metropolitan area. We are especially interested in participants who are not NCTA alumni but will also consider NCTA alumni who have not recently participated in NCTA professional development.

What are expectations of participants who complete the 30-credit program?

Each accepted participant will be expected in advance to read or view brief digital East Asia materials that are generally related to topics included in workshop 1. Because of the small number of teachers that will be accepted for the program, pre-workshop readings can be leveled and individualized based upon participant interests. Examples of pre-workshop reading topics include: Early Chinese dynasties, Confucianism, East Asia and the West, Anime, Manga, and Japanese Culture, the geography of East Asia, China in the Mao Era, Asian Economic “Miracles,” and contemporary US–China relations. (late-September to mid-October-5 Credits).

October 19th, 2019 Workshop 1 (5 credits)

Selection of NCTA Module(s) or portions of Modules or equivalent instructional materials and submission of rationale and timetable for teaching the Modules. Minimal instruction time spent on East Asian related topics must encompass 4 classroom hours. Comparative civilization instructional hours, (e.g. Han China and Ancient Rome) are permissible. (Mid-September-early-December, 5 Credits)

Implementation of East Asia instructional modules or materials in classrooms (Late October 2019-May 1st, 2020, 8 Credits.)

Submission of a 2 page instructional report to NCTA Coordinator and example classroom artifacts (December 2019-May 1st, 2020, 7 Credits)

How do I obtain an application and what is the deadline for applications?

An application form is available here.

Because of the chance to become an NCTA alumni earn stipends, we expect more applicants than spaces available. The final deadline for receiving Nashville-area applications is September 6th, 2019.

However, highly qualified applicants will be selected on a first come, first serve basis so early applications are encouraged.

Miscellaneous Information

All participants who successfully complete a minimum of 10 credits of NCTA Professional Development will receive a certification letter describing NCTA and indicating the number of hours earned in 2019–2020. All participants who complete 30 credits will be certified as NCTA alumni, receive a $200 stipend, and qualify for eligibility for future Asia-related programs both nationally and internationally.

Any participant who completes the 30 hour NCTA 2019–2020 seminar is eligible for 3 hours undergraduate or graduate education credit from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga at his or her own expense.

If potential applicants have any questions, please call or email both Jeffrey Melnik at edast@utc.edu and Lucien Ellington at Lucien-Ellington@utc.edu or call the UTC Asia Program office at 423-425-2118.