From July 20th to 28th, 31 professionals in the field of teacher education from 21 UNESCO member states gathered to attend APCEIU’s 18th Asia Pacific Training Workshop on Education for International Understanding (APTW), held in Seoul and Inje, Republic of Korea. As the world grows more interconnected and interdependent, so does the importance of instilling the concept of global citizenship education (GCED) into the world’s populace. Thus, capacity-building programmes like APTW foster and encourage the participants’ commitment to spreading GCED values throughout the global sphere.
Though the workshop’s overarching goal was to strengthen understanding of the concrete concepts and issues of EIU and GCED, its purpose was to also enhance the participants’ training expertise and in turn the impact of their training on their respective regions. The nine-day programme consisted of lectures, in-depth discussions and seminars, field visits, and action plan development. Participants were given the opportunity to design localized GCED training programmes to implement in their regions with the help and guidance of a faculty of international GCED experts. Thorough discussion on the significance of global interconnectedness and a Culture of Peace helped participants instill those values both in themselves and in their action planning-relevant constituents for cultivating our global society’s future.
A significant portion of the workshop was devoted to a visit to the DMZ Peace-Life Valley to further explore issues of peace and sustainability. With visits to Naetgang Village and the Fourth Tunnel, participants were able to witness firsthand how citizens and activists are working to correct deep historical divisions and lead sustainable livelihoods. In understanding the linkage between the national and international, participants could better understand and augment their skills in designing and implementing GCED-related programmes and development.
Critically reflecting on and analyzing current educational issues provided participants the opportunity to renew their commitment and confidence in addressing such issues. As the workshop intended, it aimed to both enable and empower participants to propagate pedagogical themes and concepts under GCED. On the final day of the DMZ visit, attendees interweaved and placed their letters into a blanket of hope and aspirations for future generations into a time capsule, alluding to the continuing and future linkages between what they gained from the workshop and what will take place back home.