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The Silk Roads: Yesterday and Today

An NCTA seminar for middle and high school teachers offered in Everett, WA.

The Silk Road was not one road but a great network of trade routes, which linked China to Europe and all the lands in between. Products were traded, but ideas and beliefs, techniques and works of art were also transmitted, which shaped the civilizations that flourished along the way. In this seminar, teachers followed the ancient footsteps of merchants, monks and warriors. Teachers also learned about the Silk Road’s history and examined contemporary Silk Road “explorers” such as Yo-Yo Ma and President Xi Jinping, who recently proposed a $900 billion “new Silk Road” trade/investment plan.

Dates: January 23, February 13 and March 20, 2019

Time: 4:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Location: Mariner High School in Everett, WA

In order to tackle this enormous topic in 12 short hours, we first covered the major themes of Silk Road history/geography and grappled with the significance today. Topics included:

  • The role of merchants, monks, explorers, and warriors
  • Significance of trade
  • Spread of religions
  • The development of powerful military forces and empires
  • Diffusion of technologies and artistic motifs
  • Geopolitics today
  • China’s new Silk Road Economic Belt

Through readings, movie clips, class discussion, and lesson plans, participants gained the knowledge necessary to support students as they grapple with the historical and continuing significance of the great Silk Road. Tese Wintz Neighbor, China specialist and long-time teacher seminar leader, facilitated the program.

The seminar was open to current K-12 inservice and preservice teachers. Space was limited to 20. There was no registration fee.

Teachers who complete the seminar received a $100 stipend, 20 OSPI clock hours (free) or two 400-level UW credits (for a fee of approx. $225), and a subscription to Education about Asia.

This seminar was sponsored by the East Asia Resource Center (EARC) in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington with funding from a Freeman Foundation grant in support of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA).

Comments from Alumni

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