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Sunday, May 26, 2024

K-pop studies becomes LAUSD’s official course, four schools to adopt pilot

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The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has adopted K-pop as an official subject. According to the Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles, four LAUSD schools will offer “K-pop Studies” as a pilot elective starting this fall.

The pilot schools are LA Academy Middle School, Ambassador School of Global Leadership, Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, and Fairfax High School.

Consul General Youngwan Kim (right) presents an agreement to support the establishment of a K-pop course to Chiae Byun of the Los Angeles Unified School District. [Courtesy of Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles]

“We have been working with LAUSD since last year to establish the course,” said Hayoung Choi, Education Consul at the LA Korean Consulate General. “LAUSD has already approved the syllabus, and we are currently waiting for approval for UC admissions.”

Previously, LAUSD launched a Korean cultural history course five years ago. It is currently taught at seven schools, including online courses. It is categorized as a history course, which means it can only be taught by history teachers.

“The K-pop course has been approved by the district as an elective so that interested teachers can teach it regardless of their subject area,” said Chiaee Byun, administrator of LAUSD, “and we are preparing to finalize the curriculum and provide teacher training by this summer.”

The curriculum will include the history of Korean popular music and K-pop, analysis of music genres and dance, as well as the development of K-pop marketing and related industries, with the ultimate goal of inspiring students who take the course to consider related majors and careers in college.

The Consulate General will support the development of the K-pop curriculum and teacher training. The completed curriculum will also be uploaded to the Korean Studies’ e-Library (kasonline.net) so that teachers across the United States can utilize the program.

“The curriculum development will be funded by the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ ‘Expanding Korean Developmental Technologies in Foreign Textbooks’ project,” Choi said.

“We introduced the K-pop course at the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) conference in Anaheim in February, and many teachers demonstrated interest,” Byun said, adding, “We expect that many schools will choose it after the one-year pilot period.”

BY NICOLE CHANG, HOONSIK WOO   [chang.nicole@koreadaily.com]

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