The first educational resource that focus on teaching the meaning of the Korean War in the American educational system – elementary, middle, and high school – has been published.
The Korean War Legacy Foundation (President: Han Jong-woo), a nonprofit organization in the United States, collaborated with the National Council for Social Studies and teachers to create educational materials on the Korean War. This project was supported by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs of the Republic of Korea.
The book, “The Korean War and Its Legacy: Teaching About Korea Through Inquiry,” totals to 231 pages.
This is the first time an American textbook addresses the Korean War independently, though an educational resource book covering all aspects of Korean history had been previously published.
The goal is to provide a more systematic curriculum on the Korean War by providing accurate teaching materials to American teachers.
It will be distributed first to 15,000 teachers who are NCSS members. Elementary, middle and high school social studies classes are expected to use the materials beginning in the 2019-20 academic year.
The volume consists of five chapters each for elementary, middle and high school levels.
The elementary level edition focuses on learning about the broader historical significance of the Korean War by using maps of the Korean peninsula, East Asia and the world.
The middle school materials use the Korean War to further discuss using diplomatic efforts to prevent wars and conflict, and of the sacrifices made by Korean War veterans. In particular, the text covers the circumstances that led US President Donald Trump and Chairman King Jong-un to stop engaging in a war of words and transform their relationship to dialogue through the June 12 Singapore summit last year.
The high school edition emphasizes the political and societal contexts in America that ultimately led to the Korean War being defined as the “Forgotten War,” the meaning of the ROK-US alliance, and the need for a diplomatic relationship between the U.S. and North Korea.
The chapters reflect the core content of interviews conducted by the Korean War Legacy Foundation since 2012 of about 1,300 Korean War veterans from 13 countries.
In an interview with Yonhap News Agency, President Han Jong-woo said, “Using our vast collection of Korean War veterans’ interviews, we completed the first curriculum book of its kind on the Korean War. It is critical that this book reflects direct witness accounts of old Korean War veterans in the 69th anniversary of the breakout of the Korean War.”
President Han also said, “We will distribute this book to social studies teachers in Canada and work with teachers in other Korean War-participated countries to produce similar kinds of curriculum books.”
For this purpose, the foundation will hold a conference on Korean War for European history teachers in Athens, Greece, from Aug. 1 to 4 supported by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, in which about 70 teachers from 15 countries will attend.
View Press Release in Korean (pdf)
View News Story (video – YouTube)