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Multicultural Education at Your Fingertips

SEAMEO-APCEIU: Telling Tales from Southeast Asia and Korea

30.01.2013

“Telling Tales from Southeast Asia and Korea”, the three year collaborative project between Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Secretariat (SEAMEO Secretariat) and SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA) has culminated in an all-inclusive e-learning website!

This website provides a collection of widely-read folktales of 11 Southeast Asian countries and Korea in the formats of text, DVD and story picture cards.Embodying the age-old values ranging from love, compassion to justice, folktales in addition to other forms of medium, such as poetry and song are considered an entertaining pedagogical tool especially for multicultural education.

Through the carefully selected folktales from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam and Korea students are expected to get a better sense of countries other than their own and further ponder on the similarities, differences and most importantly inter-dependence of the Asian community. 

Not only does the website provide the whole text of the folktales in English, but video clips of each corresponding story both in English and official languages of 12 participating countries.

Storytellers who were invited to represent her/his country vividly deliver what the stories are about as if there are students in front of them. Also available are story picture cards in English that capture the sequence of folktales in order for teachers to tell full stories in classroom settings.

For this matter, 12 illustrators from each participating country were requested to do original drawings which were converted later into picture cards. As each country possesses distinct characteristics with respect to cultural backgrounds, illustrators were encouraged to express them without reservation. Moreover, for those who are not familiar with storytelling itself, there are teacher’s guides that lay out how to tell stories effectively and some of the ways to make good use of the materials.

Funded by the Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology from 2010 to 2012, the “Telling Tales from Southeast Asia and Korea” project intends to provide primary school students with cultural knowledge and attitudes that enable them to contribute to respect and understanding of different cultural backgrounds.

Having such integrative and participatory educational materials at their fingertips, anyone who is interested in Southeast Asia and Korea as well as students in the region would eventually get one of the critical pillars of education straight: learning to live together.

Visit the website for free downloadable materials or email Rachel McCarthy (r.mccarthy[at]unesco.org for any further information about this story.