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A major boost for Korean studies outreach education


A view of Seoul's Tapgol Park.
Photo credit: 
Flickr / Joe Coyle;

Stanford’s Korean Studies Program (KSP) has recently been awarded with a major gift from Hana Financial Group and a grant from the Korea Foundation, which will provide a major boost to Stanford’s already strong K-12 outreach education offerings. KSP will collaborate closely with the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) on its outreach activities.

Hana Financial Group has provided $600,000 for the next five years in support of an annual Hana-Stanford Conference on Korea for U.S. Secondary School Teachers. The first conference took place this summer, from July 23 to 25, at Stanford. It brought together secondary school educators from across the United States and a cadre of Korean teachers from Hana Academy Seoul for intensive and lively sessions on a wide assortment of Korean studies-related topics ranging from U.S.-Korea relations to history, and religion to popular culture. In addition to scholarly lectures, the teachers took part in curriculum workshops and received numerous classroom resources developed by SPICE.

The Korea Foundation has awarded a three-year grant of $609,527 to support the new K-12 Education on Korea in the United States curriculum development project. Gary Mukai, director of SPICE, noted, “The coverage of Korea in U.S. high school curriculum is often limited to the Korean War.” To help address the identified need to broaden the coverage of Korea, KSP will work with SPICE to develop three high school-level curriculum units and Stanford’s first distance-learning course on Korea for high school students. The curriculum units will examine the experience of Korean Americans in U.S. history; various aspects of traditional and modern Korean culture; and the development of South Korea’s economy. The distance-learning course, called the Sejong Korean Scholars Program (SKSP), will be offered in 2013.

The SKSP will annually select 25 exceptional high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors (from public and private schools) from throughout the United States to engage in an intensive study of Korea. The SKSP will provide students with a broad overview of Korean history, literature, religion, art, politics, and economics—with a special focus on the U.S.–Korean relationship. Top scholars, leading diplomats, and other professionals will provide lectures to students as well as engage them in dialogue. These lectures and discussions will be woven into a broader curriculum that provides students with reading materials and assignments. The SKSP will encourage these students to become future leaders in the U.S.–Korean relationship and lifelong learners of Korea.

“We’re grateful to receive these two major sources of funding for Korean studies outreach education, and look forward to working with SPICE to establish Korea as a subject taught regularly in classrooms throughout the United States,” said Gi-Wook Shin, director of KSP.