China Educator

Beyond The Wall

A 13-Day Seminar for Educators

Enroll
Duration
13 Days
Description

An experiential immersion exploring the complexities of rural and ethnic minority communities of Western China for teachers of global studies & world languages, and for coordinators of travel abroad & community-service programs.

Dates

Jul 26 - Aug 8, 2018


Suggested Ages

All ages

Number of Participants

12


Availability

open

Begins In

36 Weeks

Tuition

$3,100


Estimated Flight Cost

$1,400

BEIJING

SHANGHAI

NANJING

CHONGQING

Program Overview


Scholars of Chinese history know that a dynasty’s continuity has always hinged on its ability to care for the health of the countryside. Flood and famine presaged a change of rule. How will today’s Chinese leaders manage the consumption needs of an increasingly well-educated, affluent and urban polity, while caring for the needs of China’s rural farmers and ethnic minorities? What are the most significant hurdles confronting China’s new leadership, and what continuing opportunities and new challenges can we anticipate in the decades to come? We invite teachers to join us on a dynamic and holistic exploration of China as we explore the seminal environmental and economic issues confronting the Middle Kingdom through hands-on immersion in rural and ethnic minority communities in Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces.

Moving from Kunming to Lijiang and ending in Chengdu, this professional development seminar examines case-studies exploring intersections of culture, economy and environmental…

Scholars of Chinese history know that a dynasty’s continuity has always hinged on its ability to care for the health of the countryside. Flood and famine presaged a change of rule. How will today’s Chinese leaders manage the consumption needs of an increasingly well-educated, affluent and urban polity, while caring for the needs of China’s rural farmers and ethnic minorities? What are the most significant hurdles confronting China’s new leadership, and what continuing opportunities and new challenges can we anticipate in the decades to come? We invite teachers to join us on a dynamic and holistic exploration of China as we explore the seminal environmental and economic issues confronting the Middle Kingdom through hands-on immersion in rural and ethnic minority communities in Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces.

Moving from Kunming to Lijiang and ending in Chengdu, this professional development seminar examines case-studies exploring intersections of culture, economy and environmental sustainability. While visiting urban and rural communities and traveling into the foothills of the Tibetan Plateau, we look at the efforts of international and home-grown NGOs to protect cultural and environmental integrity.

Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, is fast becoming a center of Chinese language and study-abroad programming, and we further use our time together to explore best practices in immersive experiential and global education programming for both field-based and classroom settings. Kunming offers a rich setting for a comprehensive introduction to contemporary Chinese culture, history and themes related to development studies.

From Kunming we move west and north into the foothills of the Himalaya and the ancient city of Lijiang. Eschewing the mobs of tourists that flock to Lijiang Old Town, we continue onward to the small farming village of Nanyaocun along the shores of the Lashihai Sea. Here, under the majestic peak of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain we enter into a 3-day homestay with ethnic Naxi farming families, living in multi-generational hand-crafted timber frame and adobe homes. In Nanyo village we examine best practices for facilitating student h0mestays and community engagement programming while learning from the Yunnan Econetwork about issues related to rampant tourism development adverse environmental impacts.

The final chapter of our journey takes us north to the capital of Sichuan Province. In Chengdu we connect with community leaders in the Tibetan District, exploring challenges in religious freedoms, minority cultural survival and comparative religions of modern China. We also connect with representatives of CURA, the Chengdu Urban Rivers Association to explore appropriate technologies for mitigating water pollution and soil degradation at the local level. In Chengdu we also partner with local culinary experts and farm to table restaurants to taste the famed flavors of Sichuan cuisine.

Any teacher or scholar of China will benefit from Dragons twenty-five year history of work in China and our approach to getting off the beaten path. Participants on our China Educator Seminar return home with stories and lessons developed through authentic exploration of contemporary realities that extend well beyond the veneer of China’s coastal cities and trodden tourist sites.

Read More Read Less Sample Itinerary

Topics Include:

  • Economic Development and Environmental Conservation: How can China sustain growth and ensure sustainability for itself and others? What is China already doing to promote environmental sustainability? With China’s insatiable appetite for energy and the extraction of natural resources, what impact can we anticipate as China hurls itself into the race to develop?
  • Cultural Survival: Spending time in a ethnic minority communities we examine how Chinese national identity and the many nations of China negotiate the politics of identity, and the continuity of diverse cultural practices.
  • Chines Cultural Immersion and Community Engagement: Working with local community partners, homestay families and community-based development organizations we explore best practices in student community engagement, learning service and global citizenship education.
  • History of Modern China: No country on earth has suffered a more bitter history in modern times than China. Four years of civil war after 1945 led to the Maoist era, with its purges and repression; the disastrous Great Leap Forward; a famine that killed tens of millions; and the Cultural Revolution. Yet from this long trauma, China has emerged amazingly in the last three decades as an economic powerhouse set to play a major global political role, its future posing one of the great questions for the twenty-first century as it grapples with enormous internal challenges. Understanding how that transformation came about and what China constitutes today means understanding its epic journey since 1850 and recognizing how the past influences the present. As Confucius said, To see the future, one must grasp the past.