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Educator Workshops & Conferences

Enrich your understanding of Korea’s social and cultural development from historical events to contemporary issues though professional development workshops that engage the teacher as well as the learner in you. Programs at the U-M International Institute and the Michigan Council for Social Studies aim to enhance the presentation of the interconnected world in classrooms and demonstrate Korea’s role on the global stage. State Board Continuing Education Units are available.  Please contact for more information.

Korea Workshops

2017 Educator Workshop: Korea through the Arts: Tradition and Modernity

While we often hear news about Korea’s security issues and smartphones, little is said about Korea’s rich artistic traditions that go back millennia.

Through a series of lectures focused on dance, music, and fine arts, as well as a hands-on demonstration on Korean folk painting and a visit to the Korean galleries at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, this workshop will shed light on contemporary Korean arts, showing how Korea has reinterpreted its own tradition, merged it with the contemporary global practice and successfully exported it all over the world. 
What to expect: engaging lectures on Korea, provided by specialists in the field; teacher resource kits; a tour of the Korean galleries at the University of Michigan Museum of Art; lunch and coffee breaks; travel reimbursements for eligible participants. 
Reserve your spot today—registration is limited. 
Registration deadline: September 20. 
It is possible to participate in-person or remotely (online). 

SCECH credits (5) available both for in-person and online participants ($10 processing fee). 

2016 Educator Workshop: Illuminating the North

From Mass Games to missile tests to NBA ambassadors, North Korea has been at the forefront of global awareness for decades while simultaneously remaining shrouded in mystery and controversy. News stories covering its dynastic leadership, persistent military pursuits, and nothing if not resilient people certainly grasp our attention, but how much do we actually know? This all-day workshop will seek to shine a light on the politics, history, and foreign policies surrounding the ever-reclusive, ever-present North, peer behind the headlines, and discuss ways to approach the topic in the classroom.

Featuring lectures from national experts on U.S. foreign policy toward North Korea:

David Straub Former U.S. Department of State Senior Foreign Service Officer

Inyeop Lee, PhD Assistant Professor of Politics and History at Spring Arbor University

Immerse yourself in Korea with educator resources, hands-on activities, and MORE!

  • Open to any K-14 educators (registration required)
  • Michigan Department of Education SCECHs available*
  • Lunch provided
  • Travel reimbursement available for eligible participants

Date: Saturday, August 20, 2016  |  8:30am - 4:30pm

Location: University of Michigan, School of Social Work Building, Room 1636

*$10 processing fee for SCECHs

2015: Educator Workshop: Lives of Migration: Korean Diaspora
With over 7 million Koreans
 settled in 175 countries, people of Korean descent make up the most widespread diaspora in the world. The growth of the Korean diaspora came as consequence of the events in modern Korean history, and despite its relatively short history from around the mid-nineteenth century it has become a worldwide phenomenon. Learn more about the history and the destinations of ethnic Koreans.

Immerse yourself in Korea with educator resources, hands-on activities & Korea specialists.

2014 Educator Workshop: Historic Korea TODAY
Explore the culture
of ancient Korea and how it influences the world today. Immerse yourself in the heritage of Korean cuisine and art evolve from a complex interaction of natural environment and cultural trends with leading researchers on Korean culture.

Workshop Materials

2013 Educator Workshop: Koreans, Who Are They?
Explore the history
 and the identities of a united and divided Korea through a multicultural lens in the Nam Center's fourth workshop for educators. Learn about traditional Korean identity through hands-on folk painting and the transformation of Korea into a dynamic society with leading researchers on Korean culture, including Sangjoon Lee and South Korean K-14 educator Jisu Ryu. Participate in an ongoing discussion about how to incorporate Korea into the K-14 classroom with the support of the Nam Center for Korean Studies at the University of Michigan.

Workshop Materials

2012 Educator Workshop: Fast-forward Korea
This Year we explored 
Korean culture and society during the Nam Center’s third Annual workshop for educators. We learned how Korea has moved from an agrarian society to one of the leading economies of the world in less than 75 years. There were presentations from leading researchers on contemporary Korean culture, Youngju Ryu and Natsu Oyobe, and an installation by Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, a Seoul-based contemporary art group. Training the K-12 colleagues about Korea will equip participants with tactics to incorporate Korean material into their classrooms.

Workshop Materials

2011 Educator Workshop: Society, History & Culture Through the Arts of Korea
Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Life in Ceramics: Five Contemporary Korean Artists at the U-M Museum of Art (UMMA), this workshop examined the social and historical contexts of the ceramics tradition in Korean culture. How did the lives of the artists and the socio-historical context in which they developed the products that we see? What can Korea’s acclaimed ceramics tradition reveal about the people, the nation, and their place in the world? They explored the answers to these questions and hoped to learn a little about themselves in the process of this professional development workshop.

Workshop Materials

2010 Educator Workshop: Korean Culture and History in the Classroom
This was the Nam Center for Korean Studies’ first annual workshop for educators who immersed themselves in Korean history and culture in this day-long workshop filled with special presentations from Korean history scholars, authentic Korean cuisine, as well as cultural activities to enjoy. Participants learned about Korean history and culture with Dr. Mark Peterson, esteemed Korean Studies scholar, who delivered a presentation on the role of family, women, and religions in Korean society. Monica Kim, U-M Korean Studies Ph.D. candidate and former middle school history teacher, gave an in-depth interactive presentation about framing the Korean war within multiple contexts. The day ended with a tour of the Asia library with Korean Studies librarian Yunah Sung, followed by an overview of the numerous library resources available to K-14 educators.

Collaborative Workshops

2014 U-M East Asia Immersion Teacher Workshop
In popular culture
, Asia is seen as having a strong and deep connection with digital technology (anime, cell phones, microblogging…). What is this region called CyberAsia, and how can new media practices strengthen and shape classroom teaching about China, Japan and Korea?

What are the trends, practices and effects of these technology-driven cultures? With new ways to experience the cyber media stage, we’ll spend the afternoon sharing ideas, discussing the best digital tools and practices, and ways to build a richer classroom setting.

For more information, call (734) 936-3961 or e-mail

2013 East Asian Immersion: Shifting Meanings: Translation in Children's & Young Adult Literature
There are many ways to translate a literary text from one language into another.  The nature of meaning in literature changes depending on words chosen to convey an idea, cultural contexts, and any visual imagery that is displayed.    In this interactive day-long workshop, you will learn ideas behind interpretive and literal translation by exploring Chinese-, Japanese- and Korean-themed children’s and young adult literature.   This workshop will include hands-on activities, thoughtful presentations, and an exploration of library materials and teaching methodologies.  Afternoon sessions have been co-developed by the International Institute team and University of Michigan librarians.  Enjoy exploring the resources and spaces on campus that offer community extensions to learning and education.  Take-home packets and lunch will be provided, and 5 CE credits are offered.

2012 East Asian Immersion: Language Across Borders, Words, Writing & Gesture


  • Welcome breakfast (Japanese & Korean)
  • Presentation: Linguistic connections in East Asia
  • Presentation: Euphemisms in Chinese and English
  • Workshop: Japanese Brush Calligraphy
  • Working Lunch: Chinese cuisine
  • Japanese Dance: Soran Bushi
  • Korean Dance: Mask Dance
  • Chinese Performance: Chinese Opera
  • Discussion, Door Prize Drawing, & Evaluations
  • ​Japanese & Korean cuisine and etiquette (at Seoul Garden)

2011 East Asian Celebration: Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity
Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures have distinct and rich histories as well as overlapping and shared cultural traditions that cross geographic national boundaries. In this workshop, educators explore how the wishes of long life, happiness, and prosperity are revealed throughout Asia in decorative arts, folk tales, painting and dance movement. Within this artistic medley are connections to festivals, performing arts, health, and society that make for a fascinating day-long experience with East Asian cultures. Lectures, performance, and hands-on teaching ideas—SB-CEUs provided.

Every culture develops unique ways of viewing the world and identifying those invisible or intangible forces that affect the quality of human life. Throughout much of Asian culture, we find hidden meanings and culturally-specific symbols in visual imagery, theatrical performances, literary forms and folklore that reveal wishes of happiness, wealth or long life. This constant preoccupation with good fortune is not necessarily thought of as something transcendental—it is connected with worldly advantages, riches and honor, and extending one’s life. Across East Asian symbology, we see flowers masquerading as blessings, children heralding more children, immortals granting pleasure and happiness, and animals standing for a life of service and fulfillment. The key to this lexicon of good luck is provided through resources provided at our workshop and includes scavenger hunts at the University Art Museum. Stay tuned for images and techniques that can be used over and over in the classroom—and new ways to appropriate the global dimensions of happiness.

The foundation of this workshop complements the U-M theme semester “What Makes Life Worth Living.” Through this immersion, we hope to contribute towards a broad array of opportunities for students to read, think, talk and write about what constitutes a full life across time and half the globe. How do we ensure lasting relationships, a prosperous business, good health or creativity? How do we make meaningful commitments to ourselves, family, and community? How have the traditions of good living been expressed historically and how are such traditions expressed today? Students should begin to value the diversity of ways that people engage and answer these queries. We’ll see how responses to these enduring issues are transmitted now—and what might be in store for the future.