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Professional Development October 2011 Workshop

What do we need to know about China today?

Sponsored by:
The Calvin College Asian Studies Program and the Calvin Graduate Teacher Education Program.  The funding for this comes in part from the Freeman Foundation.

To register:
Guest application should be returned by fax to the Gradatue Teacher Education Program 616-526-6505
Attention Cindi Hoekstra. Deadline to apply is October 12, 2011 to allow for materials to be mailed. Questions can be directed to Cindi at or 616-526-6158

October 26, 2011 (on campus October 26, with work assigned both before and after that date)
Two graduate workshop credits.

$530.00 with discounts available:
For the first ten students to enroll: $200 discount on tuition (total cost $330.00)
For the next five: $150 tuition discount (total cost $380.00)
For the next five: $100 tuition discount (total cost $430.00)

Instructors:  Calvin College Faculty Members
Daniel Bays, Professor of History and Director, Asian Studies; Larry Herzberg, Professor of Chinese; Diane Obenchain, Professor of Religion

The workshop introduces some key concepts about the Chinese people, their history and society, and deals directly with some of the ways in which China is often misunderstood and distorted in the media and in many schools.  It is designed for junior high and high school social studies teachers, especially teachers of world history or courses dealing with globalization or modernization.  A comparative perspective will be built into the material, with the question always present, “are Chinese values and practices compatible with Western traditions?”

Assignments and Readings:
The course begins with each student reading China Road: a Journey into the Future of a Rising Power by Rob Gifford (Random House, 2007), paperback available at Please read this before the October 26 workshop and write a short reflection on what it tells us about the major theme of the workshop.  Students are also requested to view thoughtfullya video made by Larry Herzberg and Qin Herzberg and write a brief reaction.  The actual direct contact with the instructors will be 6.5 to 7 hours on Wednesday, October 26 on campus with the three professors with lectures discussion, and debate on how to improve the teacher’s,  as well as their own student’s, understanding of China.  Within a week after the workshop each student will write and send in by email attachment a 4-6 page essay suggesting ways to integrate into the classroom what has been learned.

China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power by Rob Gifford (available on
Video by Larry Herzberg and Qin Herzberg, China Today: Issues that trouble Americans at the Start of the 21st Century will be mailed to you upon registration

Time Allocation:
10 hours reading the book and writing a short reflection (3-4 pages)
1.5 hours (1 hour viewing the video and .5 hour writing a half page reaction to it)
6.5 hours on campus Wednesday Oct. 26
7 hours organizing materials including some provided at the on campus meeting and writing an essay (or a lesson plan) which incorporates some of the concepts into your classroom according to the age of your students. 
Total 25 hours

Workshop Details:
8:45 Coffee and welcoming remarks
9:00-9:50 Larry Herzberg on “Misconceptions about China Today”
9:50-10:15 Q and A
10:15-10:30 Break
10:30-11:20 Dan Bays on “The Excess Baggage of Chinese History”
11:20-11:45 Q and A
11:45- 12:30 lunch provided by grant funding
12:30-1:20 Diane Obenchain on “Religion in China, Yesterday and Today”
1:20-1:45 Q and A
1:45-2:00 break
2:00-2:50 Larry Herzberg on “The Joys of the Chinese Language: an Entryway for Understanding China”
2:50-3:15 Q and A
3:15-3:30 Windup


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