Social science and history teachers from the U.S. take a look at ancient Korean artifacts at the National Museum of History on July 24. They are in Korea on a week-long workshop for U.S. educators organized by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs.

By Cho A-la and Lee Hana
Photos = Jeon Han
July 24, 2017 | Seoul

Starting next year, Korea’s modern history will be included in the Advanced Placement (AP) World History curriculum in the state of California.

The agreement was made between the College Board and Korea’s World History Digital Education Foundation (WHDEF), after the world history curriculum for U.S. high schools was revised in 2016.

The WHDEF will be working with the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the largest association in the U.S. devoted to social studies education, to develop the Korean history section for the AP World History curriculum.

Once the textbook is published in 2018, high school students in California will learn about Korea’s rapid economic development following the Korean War (1950-1953), as well as Korea’s remarkable growth in the IT sector.


Terry Cherry, president of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), talks about the importance of learning about Korea’s modern history, at the National Museum of Korea in Seoul on July 24.

Terry Cherry, president of the NCSS, pointed to Korea’s recovery from the 1997 Asian financial crisis as an example of why Korean history matters in the context of the AP World History curriculum.

“In a time of need, Koreans donated their gold in a public campaign to help the country out of its economic crisis. This shows that Koreans are able to sacrifice what may be most precious to them for the benefit of others. Korean modern history teaches us how important it is to live as humans, and this is why I think the story needs to be told and taught to our students,” said Cherry.

According to Cherry, Korean modern history will be included in the AP World History curriculum and then expanded across the board, from elementary school all the way through to college.


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