University News

U. S. Department of Education Awards William Paterson University’s College of Education $85,000 in Fulbright-Hays Grants For Educators to Study in South Korea

---William Paterson University is the only institution in New Jersey to receive funding for Short-Term Projects Abroad

William Paterson University has been awarded $85,000 in grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Fulbright-Hays Short-Term Projects Abroad program to support a project for six teachers as well as six William Paterson students to study in South Korea in the summer of 2014. The project is one of only sixteen funded nationally and the only group project funded in New Jersey.

“In an interconnected, competitive global economy, the only way to secure our common future is through education,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “These grants will ensure a steady supply of graduates with expertise in world languages and global issues, helping to build stronger and more productive ties with our neighbors and fostering international collaboration.”

Three faculty at William Paterson University, Heejung An, associate professor of elementary and early childhood education, Keumjae Park, associate professor of sociology, and Carrie Hong, associate professor of educational leadership and professional projects, received funding for their project, “The U.S.-N.J.-South Korea Project: Exploring Korea's History, Culture and Education System Through Experiential Learning.”

They will focus on a comparative exploration of education systems and practices, the historical and cultural dynamics of Korea, and critical global issues such as environmentalism, migration, and globalization as rich resources for teachers in U.S. classrooms.  The group will visit five cities or clusters of historical cities (Seoul, Gongju, Gwangju, Busan, and Gyeongju) in South Korea to participate in different learning and enrichment activities corresponding to the three core objectives of the project. Participants will also visit the Korean Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation, as well as the Korea Education & Research Information Service, in order to learn about the South Korean educational system and its approaches and educational technology initiatives, and will visit schools in which digital textbook efforts are being implemented.

Teaching and learning methods will include site visits, lectures/seminars, films, hands-on activities, readings and reflective activities, and discussions. Regular interactions with local language partners, discussions with educators, government staff, activists and local residents will be integrated throughout the program. After returning, the educators will create lesson plans pertaining to Korea that can be used in U.S. classrooms.

“This project will make possible a unique educational experience for pre-service and current teachers, who will not only have the chance to explore systematically the history, culture, and educational system in South Korea but who also will have guided, rich opportunities for deeper knowledge of the Korean community, language, and culture within New Jersey,” says Candace Burns, dean of the College of Education. “Teachers and students from New Jersey will have the opportunity to understand the richness and power of global education, and use that knowledge in designing meaningful, innovative curriculum and opportunities for student engagement as global citizens.”

Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Short-Term Projects assist U.S. institutions of higher education, state departments of education, and private nonprofit educational organizations with the promotion, improvement, and development of area studies and modern foreign languages. The funds support short-term overseas projects in training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies for groups of teachers, students, and faculty.

William Paterson University is a public university in New Jersey that offers more than 250 undergraduate and graduate academic programs through five colleges: Arts and Communication, Cotsakos College of Business, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Science and Health. Located on 370 hilltop acres in Wayne, the university enrolls more than 11,500 students and provides housing for nearly 2,700 students. The institution’s 400 full-time faculty are highly distinguished and diverse scholars and teachers, many of whom are recipients of prestigious awards and grants from the Fulbright Program, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation.