Intercultural Education and Teachers’ Experience for the Other

Youngsoon Kim(Inha Univ., Korea)

The purpose of the lecture is to provide a theoretical basis for intercultural education for North Korean defector students and in turn expanding it to the education for these students in general. This lecture provide educational experiences of school teachers who are the most influential factor to the North Korean defector students’ adaptation to school.

The lecture is based on the following research results: The study on the teachers’ educational experience found that teachers’ perception toward defector students were changed and their commitment was strengthened. As they learned more about defector students, their love, dedication, responsibility and passion tended to become stronger. Furthermore, they showed a high level of intercultural competence and started to reflect themselves and respect others. In the practical aspect, they carried out the ethics of care in education which goes beyond time, space and subject. In other words, they put their ‘understanding and acceptance of others’ into practice, which led to ‘creating relationship via interaction’ and envisioned achieving ‘assimilation via cooperation and solidarity’. To identify the intercultural educational implications of the educational experience for defector students, this study focused on otherness, interaction, and solidarity which are main elements of the intercultural education.

The education for North Korean defector students should be recognized as our own future issue instead of only their problem. Their settlement and assimilation will serve as a barometer to assess the possibility of unification between South and North Korea. Thus, our endeavors for successful adaptation of defector students will be the preoperational work for assimilation by minimizing potential turmoil and trial and errors that our society might go through in the future. Hence, this study suggested education should be oriented toward recognition, relationship and integration based on intercultural education. Finally, I hope that my lecture will contribute to the formation of Turkish teachers’ minds for the education of refugees from Syria.