From 19 – 25 July, EUROCLIO sent a delegation of representatives to Seoul, South Korea, for the annual NAHF-EUROCLIO Joint Conference. NAHF, the Northeast Asian History Foundation, is one of EUROCLIO’s partners with whom we are involved in the project History Education beyond Borders.
The intensive study visit included teaching sessions with Korean high school students, workshops with Korean history educators, an opportunity to observe a lesson at Gajeoul High School, a dinner exchange with the Korean Association of History Educators, an academic conference with 3 panels, as well as visits to several history museums, the demilitarized zone, the Dokdo Experience Centre, a traditional tearoom, and Changgyeonggung Palace. This is the third delegation which has gone to South Korea with the purpose of exchanging history education ideas with Korean history teachers, specifically to demonstrate the merits of multi-perspective education.
The delegation spoke extensively on the topic of how cultural and language barriers could be overcome in order to ensure that the exchanges facilitated would dive deeper than superficial and overly-cautious pleasantries. In the end, some of the comments and insights made by the Korean teachers reveal that EUROCLIO’s message of multi-perspectivity did not fall on deaf ears. However, more work must be done, first to build a stronger and more open relationship with our partners in South Korea, and second to continue the work already started in the region.