Belin-Blank Center

Come celebrate with us as Ms. Sawako Kojima, of the Japan Information Center and Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago, presents the Japan Foundation Institutional Project Support Program in Japanese Studies to the University of Iowa.

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With rising interest in Chinese and South Korean studies, many universities across the U.S. fear waning enrollment in Japanese studies. The UI, however, has managed to buck the trend, with Japanese studies enrollment numbers on the rise the past 3 years.

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Most of the 22 South Korean teachers welcomed to the University of Iowa campus on Monday had never been to the United States before. But not Kim Yong Kik, who previously visited Chicago. He feels Iowa is “more peaceful.” Kim, a mathematics and science teacher, will spend two weeks at the UI with his Korean colleagues attending a teaching workshop in which they will learn about the American approach to gifted education, the visiting teachers’ specialty area. They will also share their experiences in their home country.

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Gifted education practices are very different in South Korea than in the United States. “Gifted education is a far more established field, both for research and practice, in the United States,” said Laurie Croft, professional development administrator with the University of Iowa College of Education’s Belin-Blank Center. To share some of that knowledge and expertise, Croft is helping organize a July 18-31 visit of 22 Korean teachers to the UI campus and local community.

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