Towards Progressive and Dynamic Multicultural Education: Teachers’ Awareness of Multicultural Education in South Korean Schools

Sunnie Lee Watson, Gilbert C. Park


While multicultural education was first started in the United States by concerned activists and
educators to secure social justice for both presently and historically marginalized groups,
educators in other parts of the world are seeing it as a tool to better meet the needs of their
own marginalized students. Such is the case in South Korea, which has experienced rapid
demographic changes in recent decades. This article explores how South Korean teachers
understand the increasing diversity in South Korean society and examines their perspectives
on multicultural approaches in schools using a survey of 86 schoolteachers in three different
cities. The findings suggest a need for politicalization of multicultural education beyond mere
tools to address immediate problems facing the cultural others in Korea.

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