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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 9, no. 27 (July 31, 2001).
Tempe, Ariz. :
b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c July 31, 2001
Establishment of modern universities in Korea and their implications for Korean education policies / jeon-Kyu Lee.
x Research
v Periodicals.
2 710
Arizona State University.
University of South Florida.
1 773
t Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
4 856


1 of 14 Education Policy Analysis Archives Volume 9 Number 27July 31, 2001ISSN 1068-2341 A peer-reviewed scholarly journal Editor: Gene V Glass, College of Education Arizona State University Copyright 2001, the EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES. Permission is hereby granted to copy any article if EPAA is credited and copies are not sold. Articles appearing in EPAA are abstracted in the Current Index to Journals in Education by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation and are permanently archived in Resources in Education .The Establishment of Modern Universities in Korea and Their Implications for Korean Education Policie s Jeong-Kyu Lee Korean Educational Development Institute Seoul, South KoreaAbstractThe purpose of this study is to examine the histori cal factors which affected the rise of modern higher education during the late Choson period (1880-1910), and to analyze the implications of these historical factors on educational policies in contemporary hig her education in Korea. The rise of modern higher education in Korea can be viewed as occurring in three principal phases: Confucian Chos on Royal Government, Western Christian missionaries, and pat riotic nationalists. The author points out that the major historical fac tors influencing the development of modern higher education were Confuci anism, Christianity, and Korean nationalism. In particular Confucianism and Christianity have had substantial impacts on the pl anning of educational policies in contemporary Korean higher education; t he former is viewed as an original source of educational enthusiasm whi ch has expanded Korean higher education, and the latter a matrix of modern Korean


2 of 14higher education which has embodied educational ent husiasm. Introduction The Korean people have long respected Conf ucian learning (Note 1) and have attached great significance to education throughout Korean history. This tradition began in the three early kingdoms period (57 BC-AD 668) a nd continues to the present time. According to one important historical record, Samguk-sagi (Historical Record of the Three Kingdoms) (Kim, 1145), the intellectual activ ity during the Three Kingdoms period was the learning of Chinese thought and cult ure, which was much more highly developed than native Korean thought and culture at that time. After that period, the succeeding of the Unified Silla Kingdom (AD 668-935 ) and the Koryo Kingdom (AD 918-1392) still maintained Confucian study as a maj or academic field in spite of Buddhist monarchy. In the Choson period (1392-1910) the rulers of the Choson Kingdom accepted Confucianism as the source of basi c principles for national politics, ethics, and education for over 500 years. From the Three Kingdoms period to the late Choson era, although Korean elite or higher education (Note 2) had generally followed in the steps of the Chinese educational system, it is clear that the traditional or pre-mod ern higher education systems of Korea and China were not identical. As the Samguk-sagi (Kim, 1145) points out, Confucian studies and traditions from China were independentl y integrated into Korean culture and society. However, these traditions were modified du ring the late Choson period. In terms of the history of Korean education, the late 19th c entury was a pivotal period whereby the traditional educational system and Confucian el ite institutes were devalued by Japanese politicians and Western Christian missiona ries. In light of the periodic importance of Kore an education, several researchers have studied Korean education during the late Choson Kin gdom and the Imperial Japanese Administration periods. For example, Horace H. Unde rwood (1926) in his book, Modern Education in Korea partially discussed Korean higher education under the late Choson Kingdom and Japanese colonial rule. James E. Fisher's (1928) Ph.D. dissertation, “Democracy and Mission Education in K orea,” explored missionary education in Korea under Japanese colonial rule fro m the viewpoint of Christianity. Han-Young Rim (1952) also researched the developmen t of Korean higher education under Japanese colonial rule in his unpublished Ed. D. dissertation, “Development of Higher Education in Korea during the Japanese Occup ation (19101945).” Sung-hwa Lee (1958) briefly examined the social and politica l factors affecting Korean education from 1885 through 1950, and In-soo Son (1985) analy zed Korean education from 1876 to 1910. In this study, I will examine the historical facto rs affecting the rise of modern higher education during the late Choson period (188 0-1910) and analyze the implications of historical factors on educational p olicies in contemporary Korean higher education. Furthermore, this study will provide bot h Eastern and Western educators with valuable information about the development of moder n Korean higher education from a perspective of educational policy. I will first bri efly illustrate the historical background of the study from the Three Kingdoms period to the late Choson period. Second, I will examine the circumstances of modern education durin g the late Choson Kingdom (1880-1910), classified into three phases: royal go vernment operated-schools based on


3 of 14Confucianism, missionary schools on the basis of Ch ristianity, and native private schools on the grounds of nationalism, and then rev iew the historical factors affecting the development of modern higher education in Korea Finally, how the historic factors impact educational policies in contemporary Korean higher education will be analyzed. Historical Background It is generally taken for granted that the Korean people attach great importance to education. This was true for many centuries and con tinues to the present time. According to Samguk-sagi (Kim, 1145), the first formal institution of elite or higher education was known as Taehak (National Confucian A cademy), built by the Kingdom of Koguryo (Note 3) in AD 372. A similar institutio n for elite or higher education named Kukhak (The National Academy) was established in th e Silla Kingdom (57 BC-AD 935). The Packche Kingdom (18 BC-AD 660) also stres sed elite or higher education and produced numerous scholars in various academic disc iplines, many of whom made important contributions to the flourishing ancient Japanese culture (Nihongi, Vol. I, Trans., Aston, 1896, pp. 262-63; Kojiki, Trans., Ch amberlain, 1973, p. 306). Elite or higher education in the Three Kingdoms tended to fo cus on the study of the Chinese classics of Confucian orientation in order to estab lish their aristocratic political and social systems. Like Taehak and Kukhak in the Three Kingdom s, Koryo (918-1392) had educational institutions that educated the elite wh o led its aristocratic society in order to maintain their hereditary political and economic pr ivileges. Koryo already had elite schools in the capital, Kaeseong, and Pyoungyang in the first King Taejo's reign (918-943) (B. Lee, 1986, p. 47; K. Lee, 1984, p. 11 9). In the 10th year of King Seongjong (AD 992), Kukchagam (the National Academy or University) was established in the capital. This institution included three col leges: Kukchahak (Higher Chinese Classical College), Taehak (High Chinese Classical College), and Samunhak (Four Portals College). Subsequently, under the reign of King Injong (1122-1146), three colleges were included: Yurhak (Law College), Seoha k (Calligraphy College), and Sanhak (Accounting College). The six colleges all e xisted under the Kukchagam. These colleges had different entrance quali fications, curricula, and instructors. For instance, the Kukchahak admitted the sons and grand sons of officials above the third rank. The Taehak was open to the sons and grandsons of officials above the fifth rank and the great grandsons of officials of the third r ank. The Samunhak was devoted to the sons of officials of the eighth and ninth, as well as the common people, who were admitted to study at one of three special colleges: Yurhak, Seohak, and Sanhak. The curricula of Kukchahak, Taehak, and Samunhak mainly taught the Chinese classics. The other schools' curricula dealt with technical subje cts—for example, law, Chinese calligraphy, or accounting. The instructors of the first three institutions were “ Paksa (Learned Doctors)” and “ Chokyo (Assistant Doctors),” while the instructors of the latter three schools were “ Paksa (Learned Doctors).” Institutions of higher educati on were open to the offspring of aristocratic families so t hat they might maintain their political, economic, and social privileges. Particularly, the Chinese classics that were based on Confucianism contributed much to Koryo society and politics through education. From the beginning of the Choson Kingdom, C onfucianism was a national religion. Choson rulers stressed Confucian education to train the civilian bureaucrats to lead their people, and to enable the people to follow Confucia n ethics and values. Seongkyunkwan (Hall of Harmony or the National Confucian Academy) was established in the capital city during the reign of King Taejo (AD 1392-1398). The Seongkyunkwan eventually


4 of 14succeeded all other organizations, curricula, and f unctions of Kukchagam or Kukhak in the Koryo period. The students of the Seongkyunkwan, who were the offspring of the bureaucrats, consisted of two hundred seng-won (classical licentiates) and chin-sa (literary licentiates). The curricula of the institution incl uded Ku-che (Nine Subjects), that is, Saseo (the Four Confucian Books) and O-Kyung (the Five Chinese Classics). The subjects were instructed by various teaching method s: reading, composition, argument, persuasion, praising, and epigrammatic poetry (Choo 1961, p.36). Completing all course work, the yusaeng (graduates) were permitted to take the Kwa-keo (the government examinations), particularly Dae-kwa or Mun-kwa (Triennial Higher Examinations or Erudite Examinations). As mentioned above, in the early Choson Dyn asty, elite education was chiefly regarded as an institution for preparation of the f uture civilian bureaucrats who then rose to political positions after passing examinations ( Kwa-keo ). Accordingly, since the Seongkyunkwan, as the highest educational instituti on, did not fulfill its function of pursuing knowledge and truth, it was reduced to a t ool for preparing students for the national civilian examination systems. The examinat ions based on the Chinese classics constituted core curricula, and teaching methods we re predominantly rote memorization and writing. Furthermore, even provincial and priva te schools stressed the preparation of the students from the lower civilian examinations o r advanced studies to take the higher civilian examinations. Choson society was mainly di rected by the Yangban (high level) class, who monopolized politics and the economy of the country; education was no exception. Therefore, education was regarded as the ultimate means to maintain the Yangban's socio-political privilege, and the Yangban 's educational enthusiasm contributed much to the pursuit of the ruling class 's interest and power. Indeed, the Choson rulers used the examination sys tems to protect their own interests. Although the examinations were supposedl y open to the common people, they rarely passed the examinations because the Confucia n academies were strictly forbidden to the commoners. In particular, women and Sangnom or Cheonmin (the mean people) (Note 4) were excluded from the learning opportunit ies in public institutions. Moreover, occupational or technical education (Note 5) was ig nored by the Yangban class. Buddhism, Taoism, and the traditional folk beliefs were not discussed in the Confucian institutions and in the Confucian bureaucratic soci ety of the Yangban Consequently, the Confucian educational sys tem, which depended on the Kwa-Keo as a backbone of the early Choson's education, was maintained until the late 19th century when the Choson Dynasty opened its doors to coercive foreign power and received the Western modern educational system. Und er these powerful influences, the Seongkyunkwan, as the highest educational instituti on, inevitably terminated the Confucian educational tradition and, unfortunately, bid farewell to the Choson's elite, particularly the Confucian literati.Historical Factors Affecting the Advancement of Mod ern Higher Education in Korea A new movement which called Silhak (Practical Learning) for modernization blossomed during the late 17th to the 18th century. A group of Choson scholars sought to devise practical ways to use academic knowledge to modernize the state. With the introduction of Roman Catholicism and Western knowl edge by the Ching Dynasty (1644-1911/1912) of China, Choson scholars endeavor ed to create a modernized country. Unfortunately, these pioneers never reache d their goal of reforming the


5 of 14Confucian Choson Kingdom politically, economically, socially, or educationally because the highly centralized bureaucratic politicians ign ored the new religion and knowledge. Owing to the failure of the Silhak movement, the Korean people lost the chance to reform the old educational systems autonomously. Th erefore, the beginning modern education in Korea was delayed until the late 19th century. Confucian State Operated-Schools In the late 19th century, the Confucian Choson Gov ernment recognized the importance of Western knowledge and education throu gh external coercive power and an internal national awakening. Accordingly, in 188 3, the Choson Government established Dongmunhak (The English Language Instit ute) as the first governmental modern school in the capital. Three years later, th e government also set up Yukyoung-kongwon (The Royal English School) to educ ate the sons of the aristocratic Yangbans in English and other Western knowledge. Although b oth offered Western education to train future interpreters or governmen tal officials, they strictly kept the traditional Confucian educational systems and curri cula. The two schools were not actually the types of modern educational institutio n needed to meet the demand for a new education at that time. However, before the Confucian Choson Govern ment could reform traditional education by itself, political and social reform ( Kabo-Kyungjang ) was carried out in 1894 as Japanese political forces demanded reform o f the political, economic, and social systems of the Choson Kingdom. It is a widely held belief that the Japanese planned the occupation of the Korean peninsula as an advanced b ase to invade the Asian continent. Thus, the weak Choson Royal Government had to carry out huge reform--political, economic, social, and educational--under irresistib le Japanese political pressure. The reforms in the social and educational systems inclu ded the abolition of the social status system, discontinuance of the Kwa-Keo (the government examinations) system (Brown, 1919, p. 79), and the creation of new educational s ystems from primary and secondary to vocational and foreign language schools. In particu lar, the Royal Government recognized the significance of teacher training as a means of modernizing education on the foundation of primary education. In 1895, accor ding to the Royal Prescript of Education, Hanseong Teacher's School was establishe d in Hanseong (present-day Seoul). At the same time, old educational institute s, except Seongkyunkwan (The National Confucian Academy), were officially abolis hed. On the other hand, although the occupationa l schools such as medical, law, commercial, foreign language, and technical institu tes, were established, these schools were not highly regarded by the Korean people, part icularly the Yangban (the ruling class) who despised occupational and technical skil ls. After the Kabo Reform (1894 Reform), the Choson Government tried unsuccessfully to change the old educational systems into modern Western types. Despite such res istance, some Christian missionary schools and native private schools were the seeds f rom which contemporary Korean higher education grew. During the late Choson period, the Royal Governmen t did not have sufficient finances to establish the highest educational insti tution as a Western modern university, nor was it familiar with Western higher educational systems (Bishop, 1897). Institutions which were founded by the Choson Government were ty pically elementary and secondary level schools. Therefore, there were no s tate operated schools resembling the modern Western university during the late Choson ti mes.


6 of 14Western Christian Missionary Schools The second type of school founded by Western Chris tian missionaries greatly contributed to the development of modern education in Korea. In particular, the Catholic missionaries were educational pioneers who taught t he native letters, namely han-geul to the Korean women and men of humble birth for the understanding of Christianity before the Protestant missionaries arrived in Korea in the late 19th century. Along with the first Korea-U.S. Treaty on May 22, 1882 (Allen, 1908), a number of Christian missionaries of different denominations, Protestant ism in particular, arrived and started medical as well as educational institutions as ways of carrying out their missionary work (Underwood, 1926, p.13). The first American Presbyterian mission was opened by Dr. and Mrs. H. N. Allen who arrived in Seoul in September 1884 (Allen, 1908 ; Mckenzie, 1920). In the spring of the following year, the Rev. Horace G. Underwood, w ho published the first Korean-English and English-Korean dictionary, lande d. The Rev. and Mrs. Henry G. Appenzeller, as well as Dr. and Mrs. Scranton with Dr. Scranton's mother, Mrs. Mary F. Scranton, of the Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church also arrived (Gale, 1909, pp. 161-63; Underwood, 1926, p 9). Other American and Western missionaries, including Australian, English, and Ca nadian, also arrived in Korea before the end of the 19th century (Mckenzie, 1920, p.205) In 1885, Dr. Allen established the first We stern modern hospital called Kwanghyewon (the National Hospital) as a Mecca of m edical education in Korea to provide education along with clinical practice. The hospital was to become a cornerstone for the Severance Union Medical College (the predec essor of the present Yonsei University Medical College), which opened in 1903 ( Underwood, 1926, p. 120). (Note 6) In 1886, Mrs. M. F. Scranton opened the Methodis t Girls' School (Ehwa-hakdang) as the first girls' school in Korea, which evolved int o the present Ehwa Woman's University. (Note 7) Although the school began with one student, it gradually began to play a significant role in emancipating Korean wome n from the rigidly male-dominated Confucian Choson society, giving the females valuab le opportunities to learn through both traditional and modern education. After Mrs. S cranton founded her school for girls, Rev. Appenzeller established Baejae-hakdang, the fi rst missionary high common school for boys in the country, on June 8, 1886 (Bishop, 1 897. p. 388; Underwood, 1926, p. 18).(Note 8) In 1897, Sungsil School was founded by the U.S. Presbyterians (Northern) at Pyungyang; and subsequently the school, called S ungsil Union Christian College (now Sungsil University) in 1906, was first develop ed as an international and union college in which the Northern Presbyterians, Northe rn Methodists, and Australian Presbyterians cooperated (Underwood, 1926, p. 127). After Sungsil Union Christian College had o perated for several years, many Christian missionary schools (Note 9) were establis hed under different denominations and missions. All Christian schools or colleges str essed the evangelical ministry, although humanistic and natural sciences were also taught. In the early stages, most students of Protestant missionary schools came from the non -Yangban class, including women and the lower classes. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that these Christian missionaries sowed the seeds of Christianity and de mocratic spirit to the Korean people through education. The Christian missionary work in Korea had a great effect on the development of Korean education, including higher e ducation in the following ways: awakening the national spirit, disseminating Christ ianity, recognizing the importance of Western practical and scientific knowledge, opening democratic education and education


7 of 14for women, teaching Western institutional systems a nd curricula, and instituting native language education.Native Private Schools The third type of institution was established so a s to encourage national spirit and to enhance national power by farsighted patriots wh o intended to protect their country and people against foreign imperialists. The founde rs recognized new ideas which would help their nation to become modernized and stressed the role of education in developing a powerful country, politically and economically. The first modern private school called the Wonsan-Haksa (Wonsan Academy) was established by the magistrate of Teogwon county and local residents at Wonsan in 1883 to serve the growing interest in education of the y oung (K. Lee, 1984, p.330). The school partially taught the traditional Chinese classics a t first and then gradually included foreign language, law, geography, and international law. Twelve years later in 1895, Younghwan Min opened Heunghwa School, which primari ly taught English, Japanese, and land surveying. Between the 1890s and 1900s, th e native private schools mushroomed in the capital and provincial areas. How ever, the schools generally belonged to the secondary school or primary college level. Thus, there was no higher educational institution like a Western modern unive rsity in operation. Indeed, among the above private schools, only Boseong School, which w as founded in 1905, became Boseong Junior College (as a predecessor of the pre sent Korea University) during the Japanese colonial period. In the late Choson period, although many pa triotic leaders promoted the establishment of higher educational institutes to r eform their under-modernized country, they could not overcome Japanese political power. E specially, after the 1905 Protectorate Treaty was signed, the Choson Governme nt practically lost its national right to govern. During the “Protectorate” period (1905-1 910), the Japanese educational policy was chiefly the preparatory operation for co lonization through the promulgation and practice of various educational ordinances and regulations. For instance, the Private School Ordinance that was promulgated in 1908 was a means of placing under Japanese control and suppression all those private schools a dministered by Christian missionaries and patriotic Korean leaders (Underwood, 1926). Therefore, the native private institutes un der the Japanese “Protectorate” period lost opportunities to plant Western models which were su ited to Koreans' needs due to the Japanese imperialists' educational policy to accomp lish the annexation of Korea. Furthermore, Japanese imperialists attempted to abo lish the native private schools as well as the Confucian institutes that had preserved the Korean academic tradition. They regarded education as a tool of assimilation to Jap anese culture and of dampening of the Korean national spirit. In terms of the development of Korean higher educa tion, although the native private schools did not offer modern curricula and organizational structures of higher educational institutions because of Japanese politi cal power, there is no doubt that the schools, as the preliminary institutions of higher education, marked a clear turning point in the history of modern Korean education and laid a cornerstone for the native private institutes in Korean higher education and encourage d the Korean national spirit. In sum, the Choson Government recognized the signi ficance of Western practical and scientific knowledge to the creation of a power ful country and carried out political, economic, social, and educational reforms; but the Government did not achieve these as


8 of 14a result of the prejudice of the conservative Confu cian literati about Christianity and Korean people's general ignorance of Western knowle dge. At that time, neither did most Korean people have an interest in the governmental education, nor did they willingly follow the governmental reforms controlled by the J apanese. Indeed, many conservative Yangbans wanted to maintain the Confucian educational tradi tion rather than to accept Western education instigated by the Japanese. After 1900, many young Korean nationalists were interested in the institutes foun ded by the national patriots, who had been active in political and educational endeavors, while the Confucians kept their conservative traditions. However, traditional Confu cian schools gradually decreased in number due to the increase of Christian missionary schools and the native private schools.The Implications of Historical Factors on Education Policies in Contemporary Korean Higher Education Historical factors such as Confucianism, Christian ity, and nationalism had a great influence on the development modern higher educatio n in Korea. In particular, religion has played a significant role in the planning of th e national education policy as well as in the development of contemporary Korean higher educa tion. With Buddhism, Christianity has become one of the two representati ve religions (Note 10) in contemporary Korean society and leads the private c olleges and universities in current Korean higher education. Confucianism did not contr ibute to establishment of Confucian institutes in modern Korean higher educat ion; but it maintains a constructive relationship with Buddhism and Christianity. As Con fucianism and Buddhism coexisted in Korean society as primary or secondary instituti ons until the late nineteenth century, so Christianity has mainly followed Confucian socio -ethical ideologies as a new adopted cultural mediator since the late nineteenth century In contemporary Korean higher education, Confucianism and Christianity are two ma in historical factors dominating organizational culture as well as educational admin istration. In addition, the two factors are the main pillars of the planning of national ed ucation policies internally and externally. Confucianism has contributed to the pla nning of organizational structure and culture, whereas Christianity has contributed to th e planning of instructional curricula and administrative systems. In the history of Korean culture and education, Co nfucianism was a primary or secondary key institution in formal Korean elite ed ucation until the late nineteenth century. Christianity, on the other hand, had a sig nificant impact on the introduction of modern higher education in Korea through harmonizin g the religious and educational traditions of Confucianism during the late Choson p eriod. Christianity still plays an important role in private postsecondary institution s. Confucianism does not directly contribute to the development of current Korean hig her education, but Confucian socio-ethical principles and values are the princip al axes of organizational culture in higher education administration. In contemporary Korean society, the two ideologies —Confucianism and Christianity—coexist under the aegis of democratiza tion and industrialization. With educational zeal based on the adoration of Confucia n learning, Christianity and Western ideas, especially democratic and scientific approac hes, brought about significant economic and educational advances. However, despite this positive side, a negative side also exists. In particular, mammonism and egoistic individualism threaten traditional values and norms. With the rapid expansion of Korea n higher education, however, the influence of valuable traditional thought has gradu ally diminished, while individualism,


9 of 14materialism, utilitarianism, and scientism based on Christianity and Western ideas have spread broadly through Korean society.In addition, higher education is reduced to the level of being simply a tool to accomplish the indi vidual's socio-economic aspirations while ignoring human ethics and morality. As a resu lt of these phenomena, the traditional humanitarian spirit based on Confuciani sm is threatened by educational acculturation and pragmatic scientism. In addition, the educational zeal that has been a significant social factor or a driving force in the expansion of contemporary Korean higher education has been reduced to a means for in dividual's success. Throughout the history of Korea, educational enthu siasm originated in traditional Confucian education. Of course, this enthusiasm is also found in other East Asian countries which follow the tradition of Confucianis m. However, Korea's unique historical and cultural background resulted in the Korean people's adherence to Confucianism as the state religion for over 500 hun dred years until the early twentieth century. Educational zeal in past eras was viewed as a desi re to maintain the Yangbans' socio-political privileges. This educational enthus iasm contributed to the pursuit of the Yangbans' socio-political interest and power throug h Confucian elite education and the state examination system, while maximizing the inst rumental values of education. In the later nineteenth century, however, Confucian elite education declined in traditional functions and began to convert the Yangbans' monopo ly to the commoners' concerns. During the Japanese colonial period (1910-1 945), owing to the Japanese colonial education policy of "Japanization," it was only pos sible for Japanese and a small minority of Koreans to access higher education. Mos t Koreans able to participate in higher education were pro-Japanese Koreans or the f ormer Yangbans. Although a few common people could access higher education after t o the abolition of the strict social hierarchy, most Koreans did not readily abandon tra ditional Confucian values and education. For this reason, it was still difficult for the Korean populace to participate in higher education during Japanese colonial times. After liberation from Japanese rule in 1945 democratic education initiated by the U.S. military government (1945-1948) eventually aff orded the populace an opportunity to access higher education. The common people who w ere able to access elite or higher education not only witnessed the granting of specia l socio-political rights to the Yangbans, but also recognized the instrumental valu es of education that endowed the upper class with socio-economic interests. Although the commoners were rarely allowed access to higher education on account of a rigid st ratified social system, they desired to participate in traditional elite education or colon ial higher education. Under the stratified social system, the ruling class, who were able to a ccess higher education, was separated from the subordinate class. In spite of this divide d system, the desire for education was different for the different social classes. Moreove r, the rapid change of politics, economy, and society from the traditional bureaucra tic Confucian society to the modern industrial democratic society necessitated the crea tion of human capital, thus promoting an academically oriented society. From the perspective of Korean cultural his tory, the contemporary high level of interest in education among the Korean people is th e result of two significant factors: the opening up of higher education to more than a privi leged minority; and the potential of education to confer upon its recipient both higher social status and economic success. The Korean people's desire for more education was a major factor in the expansion of the national higher education system as well as the development of the national economy. (Note 11) In particular, economic growth i n the 1960s and 1970s was the result of the expansion of higher education. On the other hand, this enthusiasm for


10 of 14education has had a downside: excessive private edu cation expenditures, social disharmony between the rich and the poor, promotion of an academic attainment-oriented society, and an examination hell for college entrants. In spite of these social and educational problems, the rapid gr owth of higher education leading to rapid economic development has come to be regarded as a model for the developed countries as well as developing countries. A fundam ental cause of this economic and educational success was Koreans' desire for educati on rooted in a Confucian cultural, although national economic development policy playe d an important role as well. Without a correct understanding of this nat ional enthusiasm for education, it is meaningless to discuss the expansion of higher educ ation and rapid economic development in contemporary Korea. Grasping the neg ative side of educational enthusiasm is no less necessary than understanding its positive aspects.Notes1 Confucianism is an ideal ethical-moral system base d on the teaching of Confucius, a Chinese philosopher in the sixth century BC.2 In the traditional period, Korean higher education fostered the elite who can lead the Korean people. Therefore, the words “higher educati on” would have different connotations than the ancient Greek or the medieval Western higher education.3 The Three Kingdoms were Koguryo (37 BC-AD 668), in the north; Packche (18 BC-AD 660), in the southwest; and Silla (57 BC-AD 9 35), in the southeast.4 Choson society was classified into three classes: Yangban (the ruling class), Pyungmin (the common people), and Sangnom or Cheonmin (the l ower people or the mean people). Generally, Chungin (the professional group ) belonged to the common people.5 The Chou Dynasty of China divided social classes i nto four strata according to occupations: scholar, farmer, manufacturer, and mer chant. Following these social strata, the Choson people respected scholars but despised m anufacturers and merchants. Accordingly, the Yangbans and the Commoners ignored the two occupational groups.6 According to KNCU (1960), Severance Union Medical College was established in 1905 (p.13). On the other hand, Son (1985) wrote 19 04 (?) (p. 70).7 Cf. Underwood (1926) wrote that Ehwa-hakdang opene d in January, 1886. Son (1985) mentioned that the school began with one girl in Ma y, 1886. Yu (1992) noted that Ehwa-hakdang began with a governmental official's c oncubine on May 31, 1886. Ehwa Woman's [Women's] College opened with fifteen stude nts in 1910 (Adams, 1965, p. 2; S. Lee, 1989, p. 89; Underwood, 1926, p. 113).8 Cf. Yu (1992) wrote that H. G. Appenzeller began t o teach English for two students on August 3, 1885 (p.49).9 In-soo Son (1985) describes chronologically the fo unding of missionary schools between 1885-1909 (pp. 76-77). In May, 1910, the en tire number of authorized private schools in Korea was 2,250; and 796 schools among t hem were established by the Western missionaries (S. Lee, 1989, p.90; Son, 1985 p.323).10 In 1999, Buddhists made up 45.7%, and Christians c omprised 51.8% of the Korean believers. The number of believers was 22,597,824 ( 50.7 percent of Korean population) (Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 1999). Although C onfucians only account for 0.9 percent of Koreans, Confucianism remains a core cul ture in Korean society.


11 of 1411 Between 1965 and 1996, the average annual growth r ate of GNI (gross national income) reached about 8 percent, and GNI per capita increased from 105 to 11,380 US dollars (National Statistical Office: Seoul, Korea, 1999). In addition, between 1945 and 1999, Korean higher education increased from 19 sch ools, 1,490 teachers, and 7,819 students to 354 schools, 55,718 teachers, and 3,154 ,245 students (Ministry of Education and Korean Educational Development Institute: Seoul Korea, 1999). The total student population of higher education expanded by 403 time s.ReferencesAdams, D. K. (1965). Higher Educational Reforms in the Republic of Korea (U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare Office of Education: U.S. Government Printing Office).Allen, H. N. (1908). Things Korean (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company). Bishop, I. B. (1897). Korea and Her Neighbors (New York: Fleming H. Revell Company).Brown, A. J. (1919). The Master of the Far East (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons). Choo, Y. H. (1961). The Education in the Yi [Choson] Dynasty (Seoul: Soodo Women's Teachers College).Fisher, J. E. (1928). Democracy and Mission Education in Korea Published Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University.Gale, J. S. (1909). Korea in Transition (New York: Young People's Missionary Movement of the United States and Canada).Kim, B. (1145). Samguk-sagi [Historical Record of the Three Kingdoms]. (Trans. ) Byung-do Lee (Seoul, Korea: Eulyu-moonhwasa).Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters), (Trans.) Basil Hall Chamberlain (1973) (Tokyo: The Asiatic Society of Japan).Lee, B. (1986). Hanguk-yuhaksayak [A Brief History of Confucianism in Korea] (Seoul, Korea: Asiamoonhwasa).Lee, J. K. (1997). A Study of the Development of Contemporary Korean H igher Education Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. The University of Texas at Austin. Lee, K. (1984). A New History of Korea (Trans.) Edward W. Wagner & Edward J. Shultz (Cambridge, MA.: Harvard-Yenching Institute) Lee, S. (1989). The Emergence of the Modern Univers ity in Korea, Higher Education 18, pp. 87-116.Lee, S, H. (1958). The Social and Political Factors Affecting Korean E ducation (1885-1950) University of Pittsburgh, Unpublished Ph. D. Diss ertation. Mckenzie, F. A. (1920). Korea's Fight for Freedom (New York: Fleming H. Revell


12 of 14Company).Ministry of Culture and Tourism (1999 ). The Condition of Religion in Korea. Seoul, Korea.Ministry of Education and Korean Educational Develo pment Institute (1999). The Statistical Yearbook of Education. Seoul, Korea. National Statistical Office (1999). Social Indicators of Korea. Taejeon, Korea. Nihongi (Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to AD 697), Vol. I, (Trans.) W. G. Aston (1896) (London: The Japan Society).Rim, H. Y. (1952). Development of Higher Education in Korea during the Japanese Occupation (1910-1945) Unpublished Ed.D. dissertation. Teachers College, Columbia University.Son, I. (1985). Hanguk-kehwa-kyoyuk-yunku [A Study of Education in the Enlightenment Period of Korea] (Seoul, Korea: Iljis a). The Korean National Commission for Unesco [KNCU] (1 960). Unesco Korean Survey (Seoul, Korea: The Dong-a Publishing Co., Ltd.).Underwood, H. H. (1926). Modern Education in Korea (New York: International Press). Yu, B. (1992). Hanguk-kyoyuk-gwacheongsa-yunku [A Study of the History of Curricula in Korea] (Seoul, Korea: Kyohak-yunkusa).About the AuthorJeong-Kyu LeeAssociate Research FellowThe Division of School Education ResearchKorean Educational Development Institute (KEDI)92-6 Umyeon-dong, Seocho-kuSeoul, S. Korea Joint Professor of Higher Education Administration Hongik UniversitySeoul, Korea. Email: jeongkyuk@hotmail.comPhone : (02) 3460 – 0382Fax : (02) 3460 – 0117Email: jeongkyuk@hotmail.comDr. Lee received his Ph.D. in higher education admi nistration from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Lee has written a number of ar ticles in higher education administration focusing on organizational culture a nd leadership, social and ethical values, and religious and philosophical ideas of Ko rean higher education. Several of his articles have been translated into English, French, and Spanish.


13 of 14 Copyright 2001 by the Education Policy Analysis ArchivesThe World Wide Web address for the Education Policy Analysis Archives is General questions about appropriateness of topics o r particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Gene V Glass, or reach him at College of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 8 5287-0211. (602-965-9644). The Commentary Editor is Casey D. C obb: .EPAA Editorial Board Michael W. Apple University of Wisconsin Greg Camilli Rutgers University John Covaleskie Northern Michigan University Alan Davis University of Colorado, Denver Sherman Dorn University of South Florida Mark E. Fetler California Commission on Teacher Credentialing Richard Garlikov Thomas F. Green Syracuse University Alison I. Griffith York University Arlen Gullickson Western Michigan University Ernest R. House University of Colorado Aimee Howley Ohio University Craig B. Howley Appalachia Educational Laboratory William Hunter University of Calgary Daniel Kalls Ume University Benjamin Levin University of Manitoba Thomas Mauhs-Pugh Green Mountain College Dewayne Matthews Western Interstate Commission for HigherEducation William McInerney Purdue University Mary McKeown-Moak MGT of America (Austin, TX) Les McLean University of Toronto Susan Bobbitt Nolen University of Washington Anne L. Pemberton Hugh G. Petrie SUNY Buffalo Richard C. Richardson New York University Anthony G. Rud Jr. Purdue University Dennis Sayers Ann Leavenworth Centerfor Accelerated Learning Jay D. Scribner University of Texas at Austin Michael Scriven Robert E. Stake University of Illinois—UC


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