It was almost 20 years ago when Joanne Taylor was selected to study China's school system and curriculum through a grant from the Freeman Foundation.
Now, as her 43-year career in education comes to a close with her retirement this spring, Taylor is donating the teaching materials she obtained in China so that students in the Arkansas Tech University College of Education may benefit from them.
"I appreciate they are going to be used and not just stuffed in a closet," said Taylor, who holds a master's degree from ATU and teaches fifth grade mathematics in the Clarksville School District.
The texts include information about ancient China, native folklore, calligraphy handwriting, teaching methodology and Hong Kong. There are also postcards, maps and an abacus.
One of the treasures of the collection donated by Taylor is a guide book from the Terracotta Army site in the Lingtong District of China. There, thousands of clay statues have stood guard at the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, first emperor of China, since approximately 210 B.C. The guide book donated by Taylor is signed by the farmer who discovered the site in 1974.
The materials will be available in the ATU Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center.
Photographed (from left-to-right): Dr. Shellie Hanna, interim head of the ATU Department of Curriculum and Instruction, and Joanne Taylor, Clarksville School District teacher and donor of items related to education in China.