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Between the West and the Others: Dilemmas of Education and Normalized Cultural Identity in South Korea


by MinSoo Kim-Bossard — February 15, 2016

While President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncun have frequently mentioned South Korea as a model country with a high-performing education system, South Korea is currently undergoing an educational crisis, trying to address the low academic performance and high dropout rate of children from immigrant families. Simultaneously, Korean children are under enormous pressure to adopt the West as their role model because this is believed to allow them to become competitive in the global market. As Korea’s normalized discourse of “one people, one nation” is being challenged by both the rapidly increasing number of immigrants and concurrent efforts to increase national competitiveness in the global market, this commentary calls for examining what a ‘normal’ child should be to reflect the rapidly transforming demographic landscape of South Korea.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: February 15, 2016
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 19460, Date Accessed: 12/16/2017 3:51:04 AM

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About the Author
  • MinSoo Kim-Bossard
    The College of New Jersey
    E-mail Author
    MinSoo Kim-Bossard, Ph. D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at The College of New Jersey.
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