32 teachers from Korea and Japan gathered at GCED workshop
Working together for joint projects in Japan and Korea
In August 2021, Japanese and Korean teachers have gathered at APCEIU’s training workshop on Korea-Japan Teachers’ Network on GCED 2021. Under the title of ‘walk together, paving the path of peace”, the workshop invited 32 key teachers from Korea and Japan, where they learned about global citizenship and peacebuilding, which was partnered with the Japan Association of International Education (JAIE) and APCEIU’s training alumni. The workshop sessions dealt with the true meaning of global citizenship in the context of Japan and Korea, roles of teachers as peacebuilders, direction of GCED in two countries, good cases of global citizenship education as well as peacebuilding efforts through education between Korea and Japan. Moreover, participating teachers have prepared plans for joint projects and shared their initial plans with other teacherss, identifying potential partner teachers for the collaborative lessons and research projects.
The proposed projects include GCED through SDGs, gender issues and educational approaches to gender equality in Japan and Korea, textbook analysis of two countries, peacebuilding lessons through history teaching, students exchange through photography and picture book development, and lessons based on commonalities in partner teachers’ local communities. These ideas will be sharpened and further developed by the participating teachers and will be implemented in coming months.
Participants hope to promote peace through these collaborative projects, inviting their students and local communities, expanding their perspectives on both countries and encouraging them to develop friendship with the students of the partner schools. They agree that this can be done with a very small step, such as meeting virtually and continously exchanging ideas, and by doing so, the teachers themselves can build friendship and long-term partnership. Even in the short period of workshop in August, teachers said that they learned much from one another and were motivated to learn deeper and more about each other.
Moreover, participants agreed that amid the chilled political relations between two countries, seeking peace and restoring friendship through dialogue among citizens of the two countries is more important than ever. Education can and should play a pivotal role in encouraging mutual understanding and respect, and teachers are in the heart of this whole process.
As found in the dialogue among Korean and Japanese teachers in the workshop, both in Korea and Japan, there are committed teachers trying to infuse the values of living together in their teaching practices with a recognition of the significance of embracing differences and overcoming accumulated prejudices and hatred. APCEIU realizes that it is a highly opportune moment to strengthen this network for these teachers to connect, interact, and build a collaborative network to walk together towards a journey for peace through education, not only of two countries, but also for a broader community.
Therefore, APCEIU will continue to support the participants’ joint projects and their furtuer study on global citizenship and peacebuilding. They will gather again in October and November to share their experience and lessons gained from the projects.
APCEIU hopes that this workshop would become a stepping stone for the upcoming peacebuilding actions and efforts between two countries, which would eventually contribute to spreading a message for peaceful coexistence of countries in the East Asia and beyond.