1950 to 2000: Promises and Paradoxes
People's Republic of China (Mainland) and Republic of China (Taiwan) 1949 to present
Showa Period 1926 to 1989     Heisei Period
1989 to present
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North) and Republic of Korea (South) 1948 to present
North and South Vietnam, Vietnam War 1945 to 1975
Socialist Republic of Vietnam 1975 to present
Republic of India and Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1947 to present

KOREA 1950-2000

The Korean War (1950-1953) and the Division of Korea

Korean History and Political Geography [Asia Society]
"Koreans often use the proverb 'when whales fight, the shrimp's back is broken' to describe their country's victimization at the hands of larger, more powerful neighbors. ... In the twentieth century, Korea became the focus of rival interests among neighboring China, Japan, and Russia as well as the more distant United States."

The Korean War [Stanford History Education Group]
Textbooks from different countries often present different accounts of the same historical events. How do we reconcile such conflicting narratives? In this lesson, students read excerpts from a South Korean textbook and a North Korean textbook to try to determine which country started the Korean War. (Lesson Plan and Power Point)

Massacre at Nogun-ri [Asia Society]
"At the beginning of the Korean War, US Army ground troops of the 7th Cavalry executed innocent civilian refugees over the course of four days. Fifty years after the fact, the world is learning about the massacre and trying to understand how crimes against humanity could occur, even during times of war."

Lesson PlanThe Hungnam Evacuation: The Korean War's Dunkirk? [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 9-12. "The Hungnam evacuation occurred in 1950... The North Korean and Chinese troops pushed the South Korean and U.S. military ... into a position similar to that of the British and French at Dunkirk during World War II. The only way to avoid being trapped and almost annihilated by the opposing forces was escape by sea." With primary and secondary sources.

Lesson PlanThe Korean War and Its Aftermath [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 9-12. Learning objectives: 1) List and explain the causes of the Korean War; 2) Explore the role of the South Koreans, Americans, and the UN in the war; 3) Analyze the short- and long-term outcomes of the Korean War; 4) Discuss how the Korean War fostered and promoted a lasting friendship between South Korea and the United States; 5) Recognize the vast economic and political differences between South Korea and North Korea.

Lesson PlanComparing War Monuments in North and South Korea [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 10-12. "Korea has been divided into two countries since 1945. Separated by a 2.5-km wide demilitarized zone that runs along the 38th parallel, the two Koreas have developed in very different ways and under very different ideologies. While the two societies are vastly different, when examining their monuments one can see that they share many features."

The Geography of the Koreas [Asia Society]
"A geographic exploration of North and South Korea, including its location, climate, production and how Korea perceives herself."

Korean War Legacy Project [Korean War Legacy Foundation]
Explores the origins and outcomes of the Korean War through the voices of U.S. soldiers, presenting a US perspective on the war.

Korea in the 21st Century

VideoTop Ten Things to Know about KOREA in the 21st Century [Asia for Educators]
An audio-visual presentation with accompanying power point presentation for class use exploring current issues in both South and North Korea. The presentation is by Charles K. Armstrong, The Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies in the Social Sciences, Department of History at Columbia University. (Sign-in required; registration is quick and free.)


Christianity in Korea

Old Gods, New Times: A Shaman Ritual in South Korea [PDF] [Education About Asia, Association for Asian Studies]
Shamans are religious specialists who are perceived as having the capacity to deal directly with spirits on behalf of the community, either by sending their own soul on a journey to other realms or by calling them into the here and now and manifesting them in their own bodies. Shamans bear witness to their encounters with spirits through their own bodies, either in a journey undertaken in a trance state or by manifesting the spirits' presence through their own voice, gestures, dances, and mimes. Because shamans were first described in Siberia among hunters and herders, their work is sometimes described as an “ancient” or “primitive” religion, but shamans have had long and expansive histories in the sophisticated kingdoms and then nation states of East and Southeast Asia. As the following account illustrates, a living shamanic practice must effectively engage the contemporary world around it.

Note to TeachersEducation about Asia
The journal Education about Asia has many excellent teaching resources on-line on all topics related to East, South and SE Asia.


Postwar Development South Korea

Population Change and Development in Korea [Asia Society]
"Learn about how Korea transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the early 20th century to an economic giant in the early 21st century."

Pak Chŏnghŭi, 1917-1979
Primary Sources w/DBQs
Selections from To Build a Nation (1971) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Kim Chiha, b. 1941
Primary Sources w/DBQs
"Five Bandits" (1970) [PDF] [Asia for Educators] 

Kim Dae-jung (b. 1924)

Lesson PlanFamous Koreans: Six Portraits: Kim Dae-Jung (1924-) [PDF] [Education About Asia, Association for Asian Studies]
Lesson plan designed "to provide an opportunity for students to learn about famous Koreans through readings and/or dramatizations." Brief overviews of the lives of six nodiv figures in Korea's history, including Kim Dae-jung (b. 1924), South Korea's president from 1998 to 2003 and the first Korean recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace.

The Ideology of Kim Il-Sung (1912-1994) and North Korea

North Korea Hunger Games, 1995 [Reacting Consortium]
In this Reacting to the Past microgame, students will take on the question of humanitarian assistance in an environment fraught with complications. It is late 1998, and a wide range of government representatives and aid organizations have gathered to discuss the future of assistance to North Korea in Musgrove, Georgia. While no one can deny North Korea's need, students will debate the severity of the famine, the type and amount of aid that will be most successful, the proper response and role of non-government organizations (NGOs) in North Korea, and the terms under which North Korea will even qualify for international assistance.


Security on the Korean Peninsula

Primary Sources w/DBQsAgreed Framework between the United States of America and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (1994) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

Lesson PlanThe Security of the Korean Peninsula [PDF] [Korea Society]
For grades 9-12. Learning objectives: 1) Understand Korea's role in the Cold War; 2) Discuss how recent events [DMZ incident of July 1997] have either exacerbated or ameliorated the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

A Visit to the DMZ: A Virtual Tour of the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea [Education About Asia, Association for Asian Studies]
Download PDF on page.


Korean Immigrants in the U.S.

Arirang: An Interactive Classroom on the Korean American Experience [Arirang Film Project and Center for Korean Studies, University of Hawai'i]
"The first Korean settlers arrived more than a century ago. With a large infusion of new settlers from Korea after 1965, the number of Korean Americans now approaches two million, yet little is known of their story. The goal of this site is to create acquaintance. It is about early Asian American immigration, resistance to foreign oppression, the new migration, and building a multi-cultural America." With an in-depth timeline, four lesson plans, and many images and video clips from the PBS documentary, Arirang.


Political Satire

Kim Chiha, b. 1941
Primary Sources w/DBQs
"Five Bandits" (1970) [PDF] [Asia for Educators]

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