Academic department under which the project should be listed

Elementary & Early Childhood Education

Faculty Sponsor Name

Sohyun An

This is exempt research for independent course research assignment.

Project Type

Event

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The purpose of my research is to investigate how much and what knowledge college students have on the Korean War. This study is important because the Korean War is often referred to as a “forgotten war” but is a significant event in American history, as well as an ongoing issue in today’s world. Investigation into what college students know and believe about the Korean War, as well as, where and when they learned this information, is critical in evaluating and reforming how the Korean War is taught in US schools. I designed a survey using Google Forms, and gathered results from 35 participants. In part 1 of the survey, I addressed student knowledge about the key events and dates of the war, and part 2 of the survey asked about what the students learned at different levels of their education. My analysis of survey results led to several key findings. First, roughly a third of the participants said they knew nothing about the Korean War, not even which countries were involved, the reasoning behind the conflict, or the dates it took place. Only 3 out of 35 students could give a somewhat accurate description of the Korean War, and even then, their responses were from a one-sided perspective, largely from the US perspective. The results suggest that most college students have a misunderstanding of the Korean War: the cause, execution, effect, and legacy. An implication from the study findings is that children in our schools are not being educated well enough on the Korean War. When this important and relevant subject is taught, it is without opportunity for interpretation and understanding perspectives. This evidence is vital in better educating K-12 students on the Korean War, as well as implementing a more open, impartial way of looking at historical events.

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Still a Forgotten War? Investigation of College Students' Understanding of the Korean War.

The purpose of my research is to investigate how much and what knowledge college students have on the Korean War. This study is important because the Korean War is often referred to as a “forgotten war” but is a significant event in American history, as well as an ongoing issue in today’s world. Investigation into what college students know and believe about the Korean War, as well as, where and when they learned this information, is critical in evaluating and reforming how the Korean War is taught in US schools. I designed a survey using Google Forms, and gathered results from 35 participants. In part 1 of the survey, I addressed student knowledge about the key events and dates of the war, and part 2 of the survey asked about what the students learned at different levels of their education. My analysis of survey results led to several key findings. First, roughly a third of the participants said they knew nothing about the Korean War, not even which countries were involved, the reasoning behind the conflict, or the dates it took place. Only 3 out of 35 students could give a somewhat accurate description of the Korean War, and even then, their responses were from a one-sided perspective, largely from the US perspective. The results suggest that most college students have a misunderstanding of the Korean War: the cause, execution, effect, and legacy. An implication from the study findings is that children in our schools are not being educated well enough on the Korean War. When this important and relevant subject is taught, it is without opportunity for interpretation and understanding perspectives. This evidence is vital in better educating K-12 students on the Korean War, as well as implementing a more open, impartial way of looking at historical events.