By Zach Taylor, University Relations Student Writer
Founded 19 years ago and edited by Dr. Lucien Ellington, Director of the Asia Program and UC Foundation Professor of Education, Education About Asia puts the University at the forefront of international studies.
Since 1996, the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) has published the academic journal, which covers the wide spectrum of Asian studies. With three issues per year, the journal has served as an excellent teaching resource for secondary school and undergraduate instructors and students, as well as an invaluable source of information for anyone with an interest in Asia.
“Currently, we have approximately 1,800 readers of the print journal and, according to AAS, well-over a 1,000 additional readers are regularly accessing our archival digitized issues. We also have a supplemental web site where we publish content not available in print issues,” said Ellington.
Based on the “Afghanistan: Multiple Perspectives” special section that appeared in Education About Asia in October of 2012, the Afghanistan: Multidisciplinary Perspectives web page has recently been added to the National Geographic Education website.
“We are delighted that such a prestigious organization partnered with us and I sincerely thank our authors, editorial boards, referees, AAS, our local staff and NGS for the immense time they devoted to this project,” said Ellington.
As the educational outreach arm of the National Geographic Society (NGS), the National Geographic Education website extends the Society’s media, expeditions, scientific fieldwork, and natural and cultural conservation. The site provides convenient and expansive educational resources to teachers, informal educators, families, and students.
The partnership between the AAS and the NGS has proven to be mutually beneficial to both organizations, according to Ellington. “NGS, primarily because their educational division was well-aware few good pedagogical materials on Afghanistan existed, immediately expressed interest when the AAS director of strategic planning contacted them about eventually using what we developed, providing they liked the special section.”
Following NGS’s historical mission “to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world’s cultural, historical, and natural resources,” the site allows educators to utilize the interactive and media-rich content to better meet the needs of the modern classroom.
“Former managing editor Peggy Pollock, our current managing editor Jeff Melnik, and I worked with NGS online director, Elaine Larson and her staff in facilitating their good work in development of the site. We were delighted with the result of their efforts! The eight articles and essays (about 90 percent of the entire EAA special section) they selected constitute the core of the NGS Education Collection. NGS did a superb job of enhancing and augmenting our work with attractive and educationally useful graphics and maps,” said Ellington.
Lesson plans, classroom activities, reference pieces, and an interactive mapping resource will be added in the near future; providing a wide range of information on the human and geographic makeup of Afghanistan.