Teachers' Curriculum Development Program: Uzbekistan and Tajikistan 2021


A 28-Day Educators' Travel Seminar through Uzbekistan and Tajikistan,

Focusing on Persianate Cultures and Their Interaction with the Turkic World

June 2-June 29, 2021

(a Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad for educators organized by the University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies)

Description of the Program:

“Persianate Cultures in Central Asia: Coexistence and Integration” is a FUNDED curriculum development program for US-based K-12 and community college educators in the fields of Social Studies, Humanities, English/Language Arts, Foreign Language, and the Fine Arts. The program will focus on the history, culture, and language of Persian-speaking areas of Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan - with the travel seminar restricted to the latter two countries, which the program will emphasize.

Unlike many programs on the Persian-speaking world which focus mainly on Iran's relations with the West, this program will focus on the history, culture, and language(s) of Persianate peoples through two entirely different lenses. One view extends from Central Asia westward, looking at Persianate cultures from Central Asia to the "heartland" of Iran; the other (primary) focus is an internal, Central Asian one, centering on the interaction of Persian-speakers (Tajiks) with Turkic cultures (particularly the Uzbeks). Themes of cultural diffusion, multi-ethnic/multi-lingual socieites, and population groups separated by national borders will resonate with US educators.

The program - a 2021 spring-semester, online, pre-travel workshop, the summer travel seminar, and curriculum creation/sharing - will include 12 educators: K-12 teachers/curriculum development specialists, community college educators, and teacher-educators. The program will be co-led by Dr. Austin O'Malley (a University of Arizona scholar of Persian literature and medieval history) and Dr. Lisa Adeli (CMES Director of Educational Outreach with a PhD in history and long experience as a high school teacher) and will be assisted by Nazafarin Lotfi (native Persian-speaker, artist, and K-14 art educator). To learn more about Austin, CLICK HERE. To learn more about Lisa and the outreach work of CMES, CLICK HERE.

The program is an intensive travel and study experience. CLICK HERE for a tentative itinerary. Before applying, be sure to look at the itinerary to see if this is something you want to do! Participants will travel throughout Central Asia, visit cultural sites and museums, hear lectures by distinguished presenters, participate in Persian language learning sessions, attend performances and cultural events, and hone their curriculum development ideas in group pedagogy sessions. Note: The program involves a great deal of traveling and a lot of walking (sometimes outside in hot weather).

Program Requirements:

Selected particiants are required to:
Participate in an online pre-travel program that includes readings, recorded talks, travel orientation and 20 hours of Persian language instruction (including some Zoom meetings).
Participate fully in the travel abroad seminar. Important note: Fulbright-Hays rules do NOT allow family members or friends to accompany or join us for any part of the program (though participants may arrange their airline ticket to meet them AFTER the conclusion of the program).
Following the abroad travel, participants must:(1) create a curriculum unit or project written in such a way that other educators at the same teaching level/content area can use it,(2) create a short Persian language module or integrate material about the Persian language into the curriculum unit , and (3) give at least one talk at an educators' conference or community group (such as a public library, community service group meeting, or house of worship).
Who Is Eligible to Apply:

You are eligible to apply if you fulfill ALL of the following requirements:

You are a FULL-TIME K-12 teacher or administrator in a public, private, or charter school OR a full-time community college educator OR a teacher-educator of K-12 pre-service teachers.
You are available to travel from May 31-June 30, 2021.
You teach Social Studies/Social Sciences, English/Language Arts, Foreign Language, or Fine Arts.
You teach in the U.S. and have U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.
You demonstrate that you can integrate what you learn into your curriculum.
You are committed to professional development and sharing what you learn with others.
If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact Lisa Adeli - adeli@arizona.edu - before applying.