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A NARRATIVE INQUIRY INTO UNDERSTANDING MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION IN SOUTH KOREA: LISTENING TO THE VOICES OF INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE MIGRANT WOMEN AND KOREAN TEACHERS AT ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS

thesis
posted on 29.04.2021, 10:46 by Hwayoung Chun

This dissertation explored South Korea’s efforts in implementing multicultural education through examining how various stakeholders interpreted and applied multicultural education in relation to creating alternative schools for international marriage migrant women and children of multicultural families. In this research, I discussed multicultural education in South Korea through the lens of US multicultural education theories applied to the South Korean context. I employed the methodology of narrative inquiry to examine (1) two models of alternative multicultural schools for diverse learners, (2) four Korean educators’ perspectives on multicultural education and diverse learners (two of educators were additional participants whose insights were included), and (3) the learning experiences of two marriage migrant women who are mothers.


I applied narrative inquiry by creating narrative as stories (Polkinghorne, 1995). I interviewed six participants over two and half months. The data was transcribed, translated and read iteratively in order to recount rich stories (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000). I created profiles of four participants and narratives of their varied experiences to understand the experience of Korean teachers and international marriage migrant women. Other forms of data included field-notes, document collection (e.g., the alternative school’s curriculum, a Korean government proposal for funding alternative schools, flyers/brochures of two alternative schools), physical artifacts (e.g., photos of events and activities and the text messages of interactions with students and teachers via Korean messenger applications), research journal reflections, and observations of schools and classrooms.


From my analysis, I identified challenges in the implementation of multicultural education in South Korea. First, the current state of the Korean education system is in the process of integrating ideas of multicultural education in its implementation. This ongoing process has culminated in various challenges, frustrations, opportunities, and hopes. Some of the challenges and frustrations for Korean teachers were insufficient teaching resources and the lack of awareness of multicultural education in both alternative and public schools. I also found that marriage migrant women utilized educational opportunities gained through alternative schooling to navigate and reposition themselves to fulfill what they deem as their role as women in Korean society. This research provides insights into multicultural education building a deeper understanding of educational approaches to alternative education for diverse populations in South Korea and around the globe.

History

Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. JoAnn Phillion

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Jake Burdick

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. Stephanie Masta (Zywicki)

Additional Committee Member 4

Dr. Suniti Sharma