RCE Inje - 2024

Sustainable development education through picture books
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Sustainable development education through picture books
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Inje
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE 인제
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Thursday, January 11, 2024
Geographical & Education Information
Korea, South
Target Audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Inje County was a battleground during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953 and remains a disconnected area with the demilitarized zone (DMZ) at its center, where North and South Korea face each other in ongoing conflict. Inje County is positioned at the intersection of the Baekdu Daegan mountain range and the DMZ, and due to military reasons, geographical location, and natural conditions, development activities are restricted, making it one of the areas in Korea with the highest ecological diversity and richness.

With a population density of fewer than 20 people per square kilometer, Inje County is a representative area of Korea's ecological landscape and is known as a mountain village school. It boasts the highest oxygen concentration nationwide, and the water quality of the 19 rivers used for drinking water is excellent in 18 locations, with one location rated as good, making it a pristine area with clean air and water.

To experience such natural surroundings, over a million tourists visit Inje County annually. It is home to the first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Korea, Seoraksan National Park, the first Ramsar Wetland site in Korea – Daegwallyeong Yangji Pond, the DMZ, a forest of Zelkova tree, and Baekdamsa Temple.

Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Recently, there has been a growing trend of parents reading books to their children, along with efforts such as promoting libraries and creating small reading spaces. These endeavors, aimed at bringing books closer to children, are increasingly recognized in society. Reading is being utilized for various reasons, such as raising awareness of written language, improving writing skills, enhancing Korean language proficiency, developing logical thinking, and aiding in emotional education.
Among these efforts, there is a heightened focus on the joy and delight, considered the most significant values of picture books. The aim is to convey universal values to children, including nourishment, environment, peace, human rights, cultural diversity, and more.
September, 2016 to January, 2024
We collect and cultivate our native seeds, planting and nurturing them, and then share them within the community.
We aim to let future generations experience and remember the diverse tastes inherent in vegetables and fruits in their original form.
Recording traditional farming methods related to native seeds and documenting ways to prepare food using these seeds is part of our initiative.
We also document the stories behind the seeds and the lives of farmers that have been passed down through generations.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
1.Formation of a Picture Book Study Group
Establishment of a Picture Book Study Group Focused on Women Experiencing Career Breaks Due to Childbirth
A study group has been formed with a primary focus on women who have taken career breaks due to childbirth. The group meets 1-2 times a month to select quality picture books, particularly those that aid in reading to children, and engage in discussions about relevant books.
The initiative is led by 5-6 homemakers who are mothers themselves, actively introducing and reading good picture books to other mothers and residents. They have created a 'Picture Book School' program, where they not only read together but also contemplate values and societal issues they wish to convey while sharing the joy of reading with children.

2.picture book class
Since 2016, a program has been implemented where 3-4 schools are selected for each session to read picture books related to the curriculum, covering topics such as the environment, peace, human rights, and cultural diversity.

3. Ecological Garden Research Group and Activity Leaders Training for Children
Size of academic audience: 
413 during the past 8 years
Over the past 8 years, education has been conducted for 413 elementary schools and kindergartens
Lessons learned: 
- Within education on sustainable development through picture books, there is a distinctive feature of refraining from questions or post-reading activities during picture book lessons. This is done to allow children to solely focus on the content of the picture book. Introducing questions after the lesson might impede the immersion of children in the story, as they become cognizant of external factors. Additionally, activities like drawing related to post-reading exercises, often used by teachers to showcase to parents, are avoided as they are seen as factors that may diminish the depth of the picture book experience
Key messages: 
It is crucial to read picture books on topics such as safe nutrition, environment, peace, human rights, and culture to children aged 5 to 7, as they may not be familiar with written language and tend to focus more on illustrations. Providing a foundation of experiences through these picture books during early childhood is believed to contribute to recalling their content in times of difficulty 10 to 20 years later, potentially offering support and guidance throughout their lives.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
Nothing in particular
RCE Inje is providing support for activity expenses
I acknowledge the above: