Art is of intrinsic importance to the educational process. The arts help young people learn by giving them the desire to learn. The arts are systems of signification that encode the values and ideologies of their time and place. When teachers embark on culturally diverse studies of the visual arts by including Asian arts in their teaching, students will gain a broader and deeper understanding of the world in which they live. Often this leads to students studying the arts of their own cultureal heritage, thereby gaining self-esteem.

This resource for educators uses the Asia Society's permanent collection, the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection of Asian Art, as an accessible and tangible starting point for discussion about the history, geography and cultures of Asia.