Tradition & Modernism

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Essential Questions: 
  • How much, how quickly, and in what ways, can a country change to become and remain competitive and stable? 
  • Is there a point at which changes are too great, and the national identity is lost, compromising the efforts? 
  • Which of China’s traditions had to change? 
  • China’s “century of humiliation” and the rise of nationalism
  • Chinese writing and language, and calls for reform
  • Changing role of women
  • Education, from the examination system to western influence
  • Urban transformation and preservation
Skills and Processes: 
  • Distinguishing between legitimate problems and temporary concerns
  • Balancing Western and Chinese perspectives
  • Identifying problems and limitations in authors’ arguments
  • Assessing relative merits of works of history and reportage
  • China: A New History by John King Fairbank
  • China Road by Rob Gifford
  • Oracle Bones by Peter Hessler
  • Understanding China by John Bryan Starr
  • Wild Grass by Ian Johnson