This summer, the Klipsch Educators College kicked off their innovative new curriculum with a study abroad trip to South Korea. Fifteen students and two professors traveled to South Korea to learn more about their world-renown education system and to immerse themselves in the culture.
Led by Okyoung Lim, Ph.D., assistant professor of education, and Robert Behning, director of external affairs for Klipsch Educators College, the group spent their first week at the Korea National University of Education (KNUE), where they learned about South Korea’s educational system. They visited elementary, middle, and high schools and met with KNUE administrators to learn more about their systems and practices.
“After comparing and contrasting the education systems between Korea and the U.S., our students came up with practices that they could implement in their own classrooms,” Lim said.
Jillian Nelson ’19, a choral music education and elementary education major, expressed admiration for the level of respect she witnessed between students and faculty.
“To build a healthier system and learning environment, we must begin to put a higher level of trust and respect in our students and their abilities,” Nelson said.
The group spent the second half of the trip learning about the culture and customs of Korea. They traveled to historical sites including a traditional Korean village and the DMZ—the demilitarized zone that serves as a buffer between North and South Korea.
“Both educational and cultural experiences during this trip help students create an open mind, which is essential in becoming a culturally competent educator,” Lim said. “Our students had meaningful and transformative experiences through this trip and these experiences will set the stage for future study abroad opportunities in the Klipsch Educators College.”
The students are creating a capstone project around the trip and will present their findings at the annual Cross-Cultural Symposium on campus in November.
“I can’t wait to see how we can implement some of the techniques we observed in South Korean schools,” Nelson said.