Teach North Korean Human Rights in Your Classroom
English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes
For those of you teaching English in Korea, there are times at which you may be able to work the reality of North Korea into your lesson plans. Unfortunately, this topic is not discussed much in Korean public schools or society at large, so it may be the first time your students are exposed to such information. In the past North Korea was vilified in the school system, so some people here tend to tune out or assume that anything on the topic is automatically propaganda. Therefore, it is especially important to stick to facts and basic human rights. As an initial tie-in (if one is ever needed to discuss human rights) is that when Koreans travel abroad they will be asked which Korea they are from, how they are different, etc.
Depending on our schedule, we may be able to arrange a staff member to speak (in English or Korean) to your class in Seoul.
Western school children traditionally learn about the Holocaust and read the diary of Anne Frank. It is also important to discuss the present state of human rights around the world. In it’s 2011 report, Freedom House notes that North Korea is the only country that “has been at the bottom of the ratings scale every year since the Freedom in the World survey began nearly 40 years ago.” Please see our Resources & Links page for a list of excellent documentaries and other videos about North Korea and its surrounding issues. Note, because of nature of the topics dealt with, some parts of these are only suitable for older students.
Share Lesson Plans and Materials
We encourage teachers to take the opportunity to raise the issues of the North Korean people in their classrooms. If you have developed lesson plans, worksheets, etc. that engage and challenge students on North Korean human rights and would like to share them with other teachers on our site, please get in touch with us via the Contact Us page.