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Ji Woong Cheong

Ji Woong Cheong

Hall of Fame Class of 2017

For 40 years as a professor at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Seoul National University, Ji Woong Cheong has recognized the importance of participatory practice research in rural society and literacy education for rural adults as a lifelong educational approach to rural community development and quality of life. He has played a leading role in various activities for the study of lifelong learning, working on the theory and practice of community development, self-directed learning, social education, adult continuing education, and adult lifelong learning through dozens of domestic and international publications.

In 1972, Cheong received a PhD in Community Development at the University of the Philippines's at Los Banos, College of Agriculture under the guidance of Professor Gelia T. Castillo, an expert on rural community development and education. During his studies, he continued to explore the necessity of adult education in rural areas by adopting the Social Laboratory (a theory of participatory rural development) by Professor Jang Ji-Wen, an expert in the field of agricultural guidance in the FAO and the Dean of Agriculture in China, and exploring theories of adult lifelong education. After graduation, he returned to Korea and operated a rural development training project based on the model of Social Laboratory with the support of the Asia Foundation. 

In addition, he was the founder of the Korea Society for the Study of Education (currently Korea Lifelong Education Association) (1966), which is the earliest organization leading to legal and institutional development of lifelong education in Korea, established the Korean Association of Farmer Educators(Ko DHRRAW) (1975) , and the Association for Social Education (currently the Korean Federation for Lifelong Education) (1976), and played an important role in the establishment of the Korean Literacy Education Association (1989) and the foundation of the Korean Association for Women's Social Education (1990). 

Cheong has contributed to adult continuing education and adult lifelong education through books and activities for the academic development of adult continuing education and the activities of international organizations for lifelong education. Among them, he served on the Advisory Board of the Asian Program of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) of UNESCO, as Director of Development of Human Resources in Rural Asia (DHRRA), as President of Participatory Research in Asia ( PRIA) Korea, member of International Community Development Association ( IACD), as Vice-Chairman of the Asian Rural Sociology Association (ARCA), and he participated in the international self-directed learning symposium led by Huey Long and organized the Asia-Pacific symposium.

As the director and operator of the Institute of Saemaul Undong Studies at Seoul National University, he played a key role in proving the importance of education in community development and national development, focusing on examples of Saemaul Movement and Saemaul Education in Korea.