Teaching Guides

Teaching About Asian Pacific Americans: Effective Activities, Strategies, and Assignments for Classrooms and Communities

Teaching Guide. Edited by Edith Wen-Chu Chen and Glenn Omatsu. 2006.
Comprehensive collection of articles and lessons on Asian Pacific American history.
Time Periods: 19th Century, 20th Century
Themes: Asian American, Pacific Islander

tapaTeaching about Asian Pacific Americans was created for educators and other practitioners who want to address the void in Asian American history in the textbooks. Experts in the field of Asian American Studies will find powerful, innovative teaching activities that clearly convey established and new ideas.

The activities in this book have been used effectively in workshops for staff and practitioners in student services programs, community-based organizations, teacher training programs, social service agencies, and diversity training. [Publisher’s description.]

List of Contributors

Allan Aquino, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Wayne Au, Christina Ayala-Alcantar, Eiichiro Azuma, Carl L. Bankston III, Dharm P. S. Bhawuk, Edith Wen-Chu Chen, Michi Fu, Joseph A. Galura, Amir Hussain, Kimiko Kelly, James Lam, Mariam Beevi Lam, Emily Porcincula Lawsin, Andrew Leong, Sin Yen Ling, Sheena Malhotra, Gina Masequesmay, Michael Matsuda, Vijayan P. Munusamy, Ajay T. Nair, National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, Glenn Omatsu, Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, Tony Osumi, Steven Masami Ropp, Aimee Carrillo Rowe, Sweatshop Watch, Daniel Hiroyuki Teraguchi, Masaru Torito, Diep Tran, Haunani-Kay Trask, Vivian Tseng, Maria Mami Turnmeyer, George Uba, Laura Uba, W. David Wakefield, Grace J. Yoo, and Min Zhou.

About the Editors

Edith Wen-Chu Chen is associate professor in the Asian American studies department at California State University, Northridge. Her interests include race and ethnicity, Asian American women, intercultural communication, and Asians in the Americas.

Glenn Omatsu is senior lecturer in Asian American studies and faculty mentor program coordinator for the Educational Opportunity Program at California State University, Northridge. He is co-editor (with Steve Louie) of Asian Americans: The Movement and Moment.


This book should be required reading for anyone who teaches a class on the nation’s rapidly growing and immensely diverse Asian Pacific American population, or more generally on ethnic and racial groups in America. Experienced instructors, as well as those who are teaching for the first time, will benefit greatly from the array of innovative, exciting, and ‘best practices’ classroom activities and strategies that are featured in this collection. This is more than a ‘how to’ book. It provides a compelling perspective on how the historical and contemporary experiences of all immigrant and minority groups can and ought to be taught in the twenty-first century. —Don T. Nakanishi, University of California, Los Angeles

This collection is interdisciplinary in scope, encompassing a variety of social science disciplines including sociology as well as humanities and professional education. —Teaching Sociology

Table of Contents


Part One: Definitions, Concepts, and Issues

Chapter One: Vietnamese Boat People: Separation and Loss

Straddling Two Social Worlds: The Experiences of Vietnamese Refugee Children in the United States

An Oral History of Huy Tran: A Vietnamese American Refugee’s Story

Chapter Two: Feast of Resistance: Asian American History Through Food

What is Chick-Sexing?

Chapter Three: Food and “Pin@y Time”: Mapping the Filipino American Experience

Timeline of Filipino American History

Chapter Four: Deconstructing the Model Minority Image: Asian Pacific Americans, Race, Class, Gender and Work

Southeast Asian Refugees Groups and the Barriers They Face

Chapter Five: Building Allies: Linking Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality in Asian American Studies

Alan’s Story: Female-to-Male Transexual Straight Man

Chapter Six: Globalization and Transnationalism Role-Playing Activity: Korean Immigrants and the Garment Industry

Globalizations’ “Race to the Bottom” Creates Sweatshops

Sweatshops in Our Backyards

A Los Angeles Garment Worker’s Experience

Chapter Seven: Expressive Therapies for Asian American Clients: The Value of Nonverbal Sand Tray Therapy

Chapter Nine: Representations of Asian Americans in Advertising: Constructing Images of Asian Americans

Chapter Ten: Ripping Up Culture: Helping Students Reconnect with Their Cultural Values

Part Two: War, Colonialism, and Imperialism

Chapter Eleven: Paradise and the Politics of Tourist Hawai’i

From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawai’i

Chapter Twelve: Racializing the “Enemy”: Japanese Americans after 12/7/41 and American Muslims and Arabs after 11/9/01

After September 11, 2001: An Asian Pacific American Perspective

Chapter Thirteen: Teaching about Muslims and Hindus in the USA: “And all they will call you will be deportee”

Hate Crimes Immediately after September 11, 2001

Chapter Fourteen: On the Cursings and Blessings of War: Discussions for a Filipino American Experience Class

Filipinos and the “Negritos Americanos”: Empire and Racial Bonds

Chapter Fifteen: Addressing Redress: Japanese Americans Reparations for Their Internment During World War II

Part Three: Community Building, Learning, and Organizing

Chapter Sixteen: Making Student Leadership Development an Integral Part of Our Classrooms

Chapter Seventeen: Beyond the Egg Roll, Fortune Cookies and Paper Fans: Seeing the Residential SIde of Chinatown

Chapter Eighteen: Mobilizing Students to Respond to Community Needs—Organizing a Class around a Community Project

Chapter Nineteen: Bridging Generations: Bringing the Experiences of Illness, Health, and Aging into the Classroom

Chapter Twenty: Oral History and Multiculturalism

Chapter Twenty-One: Bridging Asian American and African American Communities

Chapter Twenty-Two: Political Tours of Our Communities: Linking “Book Knowledge” with “Lived Experiences”

Part Four: Critical Thinking Teaching Strategies

Chapter Twenty-Three: Understanding Privilege in American Society

Chapter Twenty-Four: An Exploration of Meaning: Critically Thinking about History

Chapter Twenty-Five: Generative Thinking: Using a Funding Proposal to Inspire Critical Thinking

Chapter Twenty-Six: Promoting Transgressions through the Automatic Reward System in the Literature Course

Chapter Twenty-Seven: What’s Wrong with a Colorblind Perspective: A New Model of Critical Caring for Teachers

Chapter Twenty-Eight: Modeling Whiteness: Minorities, Assimilation and Resistance

Part Five: Resources

Chapter Twenty-Nine: Web Resources for Teaching Asian American Studies

About the Editors

About the Contributors


ISBN: 9780742553385 | Rowman & Littlefield Publishers