■ On June 20, 2008, the Fourth International Brain Education Conference convened at the United Nations in New York with the theme, “Brain Education: The Future of Education and Hope for the Earth.”
__ Dong-geun Seul, Ph.D., the Commissioner of Education of Busan, Korea, spoke about “Character Education and Brain Education.” He explained Busan’s “Happy Schools” project, which aims to help students develop their social skills and improve their powers of concentration by promoting their confidence and their enthusiasm for learning and healthy living. He pointed out that one of the problems schools face today is that they provide no education on morality and humanity. In Brain Education, he explained, he discovered a solution. He believes that Brain Education encourages students to think positively, realizing human values and potential. By integrating Brain Education into its schools, Busan is attempting to build a successful model of public schooling. The city of Busan is embracing Character Education through Brain Education.
Busan is the first city in which the Happy School program has been widely implemented.
__ Busan is the Republic of Korea’s largest harbor city. It is also Korea’s second largest city after Seoul, but it may be best known for its innovative education reform. Partially due to Dr. Seul’s belief in its potential to make a positive impact in Busan Schools, Brain Education has received a great deal of attention as an alternative educational method.
__ The Busan Metropolitan City Office of Education, a mecca of Korean educational reform, created a “Happy School” agreement with the International Brain Education University to provide a Brain Education program that promotes Character Education. Moreover, the Busan Metropolitan City Office of Education plans to expand the program from just 10 schools in 2008 up to 200 schools in 2009. The Happy School campaign is a representative program emphasizing how better understanding and operation of the brain can facilitate education. Under the slogan, “Smoke Free, Violence Free, Communicating Well, and Using the Brain Well,” students are taught Brain Education as part of their regular curriculum.
__ Busan is the first city in which the Happy School program has been widely implemented by the Metropolitan City Office of Education. Additionally, in June 2008 the Busan Metropolitan City Office of Education consulted with the International Brain Education Association, aiming to introduce various other Brain Education programs in Busan and participate actively in an international exchange.
__ In January 2009, a new program entitled “The 2009 Customized Brain Education Project,” was conducted with 450 teachers from five schools. Participating teachers learned the principles, philosophy and practices of Brain Education in an intensive three-day workshop. Those teachers will go on to utilize various Brain Education programs in their classrooms.
__ Brain Education provides schools with resources such as teacher’s training, the Happy School campaign, after-school programs, student camp, and Brain Education seminars. About 300 graduate students in masters and doctoral degree courses study at the International Brain Education University in Korea, making progress in the study of Brain Education. Additionally, the annual International Brain HSP Olympiad (IHSPO) is used to spread the word about Brain Education; last year about 82,000 students participated in local competitions worldwide. (bw)