2019 Korean History & Culture Seminar for American Educators

Monday 6/24:

I appreciated how this first day was packed with lectures and activities that were very engaging and interesting. I learned a lot of interesting and beautiful facts about Korea and I appreciated the delicious food, too. I look forward to all five days being this wonderful.

The lectures on Korean history were very interesting and I think it would be helpful for middle and high school teachers. The lecture had good visual aid that helped with my understanding.  Learning about history is important for me so that I can provide a richer history lesson for my students.

Having many lectures on Korean history was good because I want to find ways to compare early Korean history to other history and incorporate it that way.

The lectures today allowed me to come up with ideas to integrate some of the aspects of how Korea has developed to problem solving questions.  Learning about Korean history was important for me in order to provide ways for my students to think about the infrastructures that are important for a society to exist well. It also gave me ideas to encourage students to think about problems that are not fully sorted—think about pros and cons of what may have happened in the past and how to move forward.

It was good that this first day was filled with not only lectures but hand-on activities like playing the Korean drum. It is not an easy opportunity to come across playing actual instruments, so this was a great opportunity for me to try playing a traditional Korean drum and learn the ways in which music was produced and enjoyed by people in history.

Tuesday 6/25:

I enjoyed hearing from Suzie Oh and her down-to-earth speech for educators. It was somewhat inspiring to hear from a fellow Korean American teacher and comforting that there are such educators in this field here in LA.

It was a great opportunity for me to see up-close the Korean dresses. Although it is not readily applicable to my classroom teaching, to compare and contrast the different clothing throughout the history of Korea is a good start for me to continue my learning about the country’s traditional practices.

Everything about the lesson and activity on Minhwa was useful for me. It gave me ideas on how to bring Korean art into my classroom because I am always trying to incorporate art into my classroom. This provides a great way for me to integrate art with history.

I really enjoyed enjoyed and appreciated being able to witness a make-shift Korean traditional wedding and having it introduce to us person by person and their outfits. I have also enjoyed the ending to our two days with fun activities and being able to be part of the Korean culture for a bit.

It was great to see the lecture given by Meher McArthur and then to see the artifacts in person at LACMA. It really gave me a deeper understanding into Korean history and culture. I can’t teach it unless I understand it well, so this was a good lecture plus fieldtrip planned for today.

I thought the fieldtrip to LACMA was helpful because there were pieces that really spoke to me about the importance of Confucianism and Buddhism in Korea and I think it is important to show these pieces to students. It is a great way to tie history learning with art.

Wednesday 6/26:

Today’s lectures on Korean language inspired me to add onto my teaching credential and creating / starting a Korean language course at the middle school I work at.

For the Kpop lecture, I found it meaningful to not only learn about Kpop’s impact but how groups like BTS was impacting teenagers in a positive way where they are encouraging youth to speak their mind and other positive messages that teens relate to, especially Asian American teens. It was a good chance for me to learn more about Kpop so that I can connect with my many students who enjoy Kpop.

Absolutely loved the documentary and thankful for the opportunity to watch the movie as a group. I felt really inspired to inform and spread awareness of the history. I can’t really see how exactly I would do that in the current context but by watching this informative documentary, I got a sense of what kind of historical knowledge and awareness is important for people to go towards that direction. I felt so ignorant while watching the documentary but at the same time excited to share this information with others.

I was amazed when I learned about the scientific aspect of Korean language. I think teaching students how Korean is a scientific language will be very valuable and would increase their interest in learning more about a language and how a language can be created.

The gimbap lesson was fun and engaging. It could be difficult for me to prepare and execute exactly what Rock Chef did for the flower gimbap in my own classroom, but it gives me ideas on how to tie Korean culture learning with cooking and even art.

I thought the Sijo presentation was great because I could definitely teach it to my older students. I could also use the actual slideshow that was presented in the lecture with my students, which is great for me for convenience of not having to create a whole new lesson. I enjoyed that the speaker introduced to us so many examples of Sijo poetry. I especially liked hearing about the background stories.

The lesson on Korea’s history on religion was informative. Chronological development of religion in Asia as it compares to Christianity, Buddhism, and Confucianism was applicable to my own teaching. Religion is an important aspect of a culture, and it needs to be included in the curriculum, so this lecture was very useful for me.

Thursday 6/27:

The presentation on Korean tourism was good because I can share with my students the information about places and experiences in Korea that they can visit or learn more about.

I appreciated all the activities very much! Most valuable to me was the visit to the Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro. Meeting Mr. David Lopez, ringing the bell, and flying a kite were unforgettable.

I appreciated the first person testimony by the Korean War veteran. This information is relatable to current events and what the country is going through in terms of immigration.

I thought the visit to the National Association Memorial Hall was meaningful because it was interesting to learn about the history of the first Korean immigrants in the US and get a chance to see artifacts and hear information about how they settled.  I think this content would be important to bring to my classroom because it tells stories about a group of people immigrating to our country and it is important to learn about various aspects of how this country developed.

The visit to the Friendship Bell was worthwhile because Mr. Lee gave a great presentation about the history of the Korean Friendship Bell that I can share with my students. Sharing the history of the Korean Friendship Bell with my students is important in case they visit the site or have visited but do not know much about it.

Friday 6/28:

It was interesting to learn about how Koreans established communities in the US, especially in Los Angeles. I think it is important to bring this content to my classroom because I can give background information about why and how Koreans came to the US, especially to LA. I thought Edward Park’s lecture was almost too short—I would have liked to hear more about his story.

Although not all participants are in a situation where they can advocate for Korena dual language programs, the lecture on Korean dual language programs were worthwhile because the dual language movement is a growing one and it is helpful for teachers to learn how a school can establish a dual language program and how to make it successful.

I thought the Taekwondo presentation and demonstration was great because it is a way for students to learn about discipline, respect, and tolerance.

I was glad to have learned about the accurate historical information on Jikji and how that was the first movable print system created in the world. A lot of the other participants were also amazed at this fact. These are the reasons that I feel that it is important to continue learning about history and about cultures that are not close to me.

I thought the lecture on Korean American Immigration history was very useful because it is promoting cultural awareness and racial identity—how we are the same yet different. This kind of content is important to bring to my classroom because it is one of our standards.  

Overall Seminar Evaluations:

This seminar was a deep dive into Korean history and culture presented in an engaging, hands-on, and fast-paced manner. I enjoyed everything but specifically the diverse types of activities and experiences along with the lectures. I know this is probably a typical response, but I would love this seminar to be two weeks long!

This seminar is intense but has just the right mix of high level lectures from prominent professors and fun, creative cultural activities. I also thought a lot of the lectures had great PowerPoints and I would find many ways to use the visuals provided in those files.

This seminar exceeded my expectations! It was fun, informative and interesting. The kindness of the staff / interns, the excellent speakers and the delicious food and activities made this seminar outstanding. I really enjoyed the hands-on experience. Sometimes the lectures were long and a bit tiring but at the end, they were very meaningful chances to learn from the experts in the field.

This seminar was amazing. It provided me a great experience to learn about Korea in a variety of ways. The opportunity to participate in all activities including hands-on activities such as Tae Kwon Do, paper folding, making Minhwa, were engaging and fun. The food was excellent! Healthy, too! Thank you for an amazing experience.

This seminar was so informative and enhanced my understanding and appreciation for Korean history, culture, and international relations to a level I wouldn’t have achieved otherwise. Thank you! I appreciated everything; I really enjoyed the Friendship Bell field trip, as that really made me undrsatnd the strong ties the US has with Korea and the importance of that friendship. The food was so great, too. I love Korean food and the cuisine and catering during the seminar was excellent. I have never eaten so well at a training in my life. Thank you!

This seminar was the experience of a lifetime for me. The leaders of this seminar did a brilliant job of keeping the demanding material in the morning when we were rested and caffeinated, and then bring the lively and creative sessions for the afternoon when our energy was beginning to drag! The food was colorful, nutritious and delicious. I appreciated the attempts to accommodate for my diabetic diet. I could tell that the organizers tried their best to include so much material to respect the past but also to stay current. It’s simply awe-inspiring. I know I’ve used the phrase “thank you” more than a dozen times in my evaluation but there are no other words to express my gratitude for these experiences and this opportunity. Thank you!