On November 15, Live Classes began between Hanil High School in Gongju, South Korea, and IB Carrollwood Day School in Tampa, Florida, the USA. Having the whole same grade students of their schools participate in IVECA as a subject class this semester, Hanil and Carrollwood arranged five live presentation meetings for the week of November 15 through November 19. The Live Classes were conducted in a hybrid format when Hanil High School students joined individually from their homes, and Carrollwood Day School students participated from their classroom.
Throughout the five Live Class sessions, students from the two schools exchanged their ideas and opinions about important historical events in their countries. Hanil High School students shared presentations about historical events from different centuries: starting from the period of Three Kingdoms and Silla unification in the 7th century until the 1997 IMF Crisis and its impact on the Korean economy. Appreciating the opportunity “the best way to learn is to teach”, Carrollwood students shared what they have learned in history this semester. Floridian students covered over 200 years of history in America from the first settlements in Jamestown and Plymouth to the French and Indian War and American Revolution in the 18th century.
After their group presentations, students also had a chance to discuss the background and impact of the historical events. In their comments, American students mentioned that they were impressed and learned a lot about Korean history and especially about the Korean war: “I was very fascinated to learn that America sided with South Korea and North Korea sided with the Soviet Union and China. I never knew that is how South Korea and North Korea decided the border.” The diverse viewpoints of Korean students regarding the Korean war helped American students to look at the wars in American history from a different perspective. At the same time, while listening to presentations from Carrollwood, Korean students realized how similar the historical paths of the two countries are. ”I never realized that our histories are so similar”, shared one of the Korean students during the discussion.
As Hanil High School principal Mr. Insoo Shin shared in his closing remarks, students got the opportunity to better understand not only about partner country but their own country. They also felt proud of themselves envisioning a prominent future ahead. Comparing similarities and differences between two countries through the lens of history, as well as learning about different cultures from each other’s cultural performances helped students to develop the deepest level of intercultural competence.
IVECA Team is looking forward to the coming Live Classes in the following weeks to provide teachers and students with the best learning and cultural experiences.