UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS) and UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies (CNES) have partnered with the UCLA History-Geography Project (HGP), under the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, to offer a series of teacher training workshops for K-12 public school educators over the next four years. The workshop series is designed to expand the knowledge of world regions and civilizations for teachers and increase their capacity to integrate area studies into their classroom instruction to align with the new California K-12 History-Social Science (HSS) Framework.
The collaboration with the UCLA History-Geography Project, a teacher education program under Center X and the UCLA office of the CA History-Social Science Project, allows CSEAS and CNES to pull together existing expertise on campus to strengthen K-12 outreach programs and teaching training opportunities at UCLA in the coming years.
The workshop series will encompass the theme Sites of Encounter in World History, drawing focus to “places where merchants, travelers, and scholars exchanged products, technologies, and ideas over a broad range of geographic areas, incorporating historical texts, literature, and art.” This first workshop in the series took place June 17-18, 2019 at UCLA and trained 23 history and social science educators from over a dozen school districts across California, predominately in the Greater Los Angeles area. UCLA International Institute co-sponsored the workshop through the Cross-Center Collaborative Projects Grant.
The workshop focused on two historical sites, the Gupta Empire and Srivijaya Kingdom in South and Southeast Asia respectively between the 9th and 12th Century, which are covered under the state public school curriculum for 7th grade history. Over the two-day workshop, teachers had the opportunity to hear content lectures by faculty scholars, gain exposure to new curricular materials, participate in discussions with fellow educators, and receive pedagogical training from experienced teacher leaders.
On Day 2, Professor Lance Nolde from the History Department at Cal State University Channel Islands provided the teachers with a historical overview of the development of Srivijaya Kingdom in Sumatra, Indonesia from the 8th to 12th Century. He also introduced two primary source materials – travel writings of Buddhist monk Yijing (c. 671 to 695 CE) and the Talang Tuwo inscription from Palembang, South Sumatra (684 CE) – detailing religious and cultural life in Srivijaya, which teachers can incorporate in developing new lessons for their classroom instruction. To end the workshop, Joanna Barrkman, Senior Curator of Southeast Asian and Pacific Arts at the UCLA Fowler Museum, gave a short presentation on weaving traditions and techniques found on textiles from Jambi and Palembang, Indonesia. The teachers were also able to explore a photography exhibit “India’s Subterranean Stepwells” on view at the Fowler.
Following the workshop, teachers were invited to submit new lesson units designed to incorporate the area studies content they learned. The lessons will go through a review process and be made accessible for free online through the two Centers’ websites and the History-Geography Project’s website to serve as resources for other educators. The objective is for the course materials and concepts developed in these workshops to become part of the regular curriculum taught by K-12 public school teachers and offer new directions for the study of diverse world regions.
The workshop series is funded by Title VI grant under the U.S. Department of Education. As National Resource Centers under the grant, CSEAS and CNES are committed to serving K-12 educators by expanding international, intercultural, and global dimensions of the K-12 curriculum to reflect a more nuanced understanding of global interactions across history and space.
Resources: Sites of Encounter in World History