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One Truth and a Million Truths: Teaching History in a Globalizing World

Your Name and Title: Nayun Eom   


School or Organization Name: MIT Educational Studies Program Junction Student; Belmont High School Student


Co-Presenter Name(s): Dr. Marty Sleeper, former school Principal (Runkle School in Brookline) and formerly Associate Director of Facing History and Ourselves


Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Boston, MA, USA


Language in Which You Will Present: English


Target Audience(s): K-12 educators interested in or teaching US or World History, Civics, Global Citizenship, or social studies at any level; Anyone interested in the legacy of World War II, East Asia, social psychology, historiography, co-existence, peace studies, diversity and inclusion, global perspectives, cultural exchange, and addressing problems with the education system


Short Session Description (one line):

With case studies from Northeast Asia and education philosophy applied to a US context, we will explore how the way we teach difficult moments in history contribute to our collective national identity, and how teachers can harness this material to provide relevant, socially responsible lessons that contribute to a culture of peace.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

As the world becomes more and more interconnected and globalized, students need the skills, knowledge, and open mindset to engage with people from different cultures.  However, classroom discussions to prepare students for these 21st century realities can be challenging, especially when students lack understanding of the historical precedents that drive intercultural relationships.  This webinar will use teaching the modern history of East Asia as a case study to spur discussion of how we can best teach students peace skills through a discussion of history and active peace-making.


Why East Asia?

East Asia suffers from a lack of historical reconciliation. The animosity shared amongst Korea, Japan, and China are deeply embedded in their conflicting national narrative of World War II; history education in each country perpetuates their respective national memory of war wounds. How a country teaches about important, violent moments in national history shapes the public’s memory and national psyche, and those memories shape a collective national identity. In this session, I will draw on current research as well as my personal experience as a student in Japan, Korea, and the US--experiences that led me to realize the power of education on the national psyche and the social repercussions of teaching skewed perspectives.


How can we teach uncomfortable historical events in a morally and socially responsible manner?

What can teachers do in regards to teaching national history to promote peace and intercultural exchange, both within their classrooms and in the world at large?


To answer these questions, I will use my work from a research summer program, MIT Junction, along with the help of Dr. Marty Sleeper, who guided me throughout the research and presentation-creating process with his extensive knowledge and background in teaching history. Especially now, when national and world histories are becoming more entwined, a new type of historical consciousness is crucial. Join me in this webinar session to learn and discuss how we can promote empathy and critical thinking when teaching about war and peace!


Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:

TBA (As the date approaches, I will comment links to an outline of the webinar, as well as a  resource list for participants)


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