School roles in ethnic minority education in Korea

Authored by: Yanghee Kim

Routledge International Handbook of Schools and Schooling in Asia

Print publication date:  May  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138908499
eBook ISBN: 9781315694382
Adobe ISBN:


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Along with the increased number of migrant workers, the influence of hypergamy in Asia has contributed to South Korea becoming more ethnically diverse. This chapter discusses the current context of Korea in educating minority children and the need for schools to better serve them and their families. Limited research conducted in Korea has pointed to a lack of leadership by teachers and schools in facilitating the adjustment of minority children and families to school life. To promote school adjustment and academic success of children from multicultural families, however, teachers need to (a) accept multi-ethnicity as Koreans and show positive perceptions of children from multicultural families; (b) establish positive relationships with multi-ethnic children, so teachers can be considered as respectable, likable, and trustworthy in the eyes of children from multicultural families; and (c) be sensitive to children’s formation of friendships so that children from multicultural families can have close, attentive, and reliable relationships with their peers. An unsupportive school culture, including poor attitudes and practices of teachers, and the unpreparedness of teachers and schools to work with children and parents from multicultural backgrounds, rather than parental barriers, are difficulties that minority parents and their children encounter in Korea, as well as other countries.

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