The Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles (KCCLA) and National Korean Studies (NKS) have held Korean history and culture seminars for teachers and educational administrators across the United States to enhance the image of Korea’s national brand, and to promote correct understanding of Korean history and culture every year since 2004. (※ In 2023, it will be held as a two-day webinar)
The 5-day seminar program includes learning about modern and contemporary history of Korea, such as the topic of the Korean War, Korean immigration history, development of democracy and economic growth in Korea, understanding of the international situation on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, and about inter-Korea reunification. There are also various cultural learning opportunities such as a fashion show on hanbok, Korean traditional dress, lessons on folktales, learning about Hangeul, the Korean writing system, Korean food experience, talks on Hallyu (Korean Wave), Jikji, the oldest moveable print type invented in Korea, and more. Other seminar programs include field trips to the Bell of Friendship, Korean National Association, Taekwondo demonstration, and participating in a tea ceremony.
The Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles and National Korean Studies published Common Core: Korea (2017) by arranging many educational materials and lesson plans presented at the seminars over the past 10 years, and in 2017 it was revised again as Teaching East Asia: Korea (Author: Mary Connor). This textbook is also provided as an e-book, and teachers attending the seminar are using it as an auxiliary textbook for Korean history and culture classes. https://koreanseminar.org/teachingeast/
Since 2008, the Los Angeles Unified School District has awarded one salary point to participating teachers who have attended all 40 hours (eight hours a day for five days) and submitted a lesson plan related to Korean history and culture. USC also recognizes three credits as Professional Development Units required for renewing teaching credentials. In addition, if LAUSD and USC separately request 60 hours of additional work and submit it, two salary points will be eligible for recognition by LAUSD and six credits by USC.
The Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles also holds a few Korean History & Culture Outreach Seminars every year to inform a greater number of teachers and educators across the United States about the history and culture of Korea. The organization hopes that the teachers who attend the seminar will serve as ambassadors in their classrooms and communities to promote Korean history and culture to the greater United States and strengthen the relationship between Korea and the United States.