Dynamics of the Korean American Experience
Grade Level: High School – Community College
Includes curriculum unit + CD-ROM
Immigration has been integral to the history of the United States. Over the centuries, millions of individuals representing a vast array of nationalities, cultures, and ethnicities have come to the United States and left an indelible mark on the social fabric of America. Deeply embedded in this fascinating chronicle has been the Korean American community. The Korean American community is not a static social artifact. It is a vibrant and dynamic community, driven by diverse personal and collective experiences, which has contributed to the development and richness of American society at large and connected the two societies in the United States and Korea. This curriculum unit on Korean Americans encourages students to explore and experience the Korean American community, prompting students to think critically about culture and identity. Students will appreciate the unique characteristics of the Korean American experience, its diversity, and general applicability to broader comparative understandings of other groups in the United States.
Students will first learn about the long history of Korean immigration to the United States, which goes back more than a century. Next, students will examine the development of Korean American culture and critically reflect upon the mixture of traditional Korean culture, western values, and contemporary norms that make up the Korean American experience. Third, students will learn about the role of education in the Korean American community. Fourth, this unit will explore the dynamics of the Korean American community, appreciating how religion and politics have contributed to the vibrancy of the Korean American experience. Lastly, students will examine the Korean American experience from a more personal and individual level through profiles of Korean Americans from various walks of life.