Title

AMERICAN INFLUENCE ON KOREAN EDUCATIONAL THOUGHT DURING THE PERIOD OF U. S. MILITARY GOVERNMENT, 1945-1948 (UNITED STATES)

Date of Completion

January 1984

Keywords

Education, History of

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

This research explored how Koreans received, adapted and applied American educational thought during the period of U.S. Military Government, 1945-1948. In order to obtain and analyze the necessary data conceptual/logical analysis, ethnography, historiography and systems analysis were employed. The researcher interviewed thirteen knowledgeable informants in order to test interpretations of the data in light of their first hand experiences and reminiscences.^ American educational thought was mainly transmitted to Koreans by Americans who served in Korea from 1945 to 1948, by Koreans who had studied in and made fieldtrips to the United States, through written materials both in Korean and English, and through radio broadcasts and motion pictures. American educational philosophy was adapted by Korean educators during the period within a milieu of economic, political and social chaos. Therefore, many contradictions were encountered between the newly introduced ideology and the Korean socio-cultural context of that period. American educational ideology was applied in three areas of Korean education: educational aims and objectives, teaching and learning processes, and educational administrative policies.^ Korean education emerged as one of the most successful policy areas of the period, because the cross-cultural background and educational levels of Korean intellectuals were high, and the military assigned to Korea were especially interested in Korean educational affairs. Silhak (practical learning) perspectives helped progressive Korean leaders to accept American educational thought during the period. Among the three strands of progressivism, the child centered movement was most heavily promoted by the American military personnel. Most Korean educators could not fully understand experimentalist methods, however. Reconstructionist progressivism was not effectively implemented in Korea during the period.^ Although the concept of new education had all these observable effects in Korea after the American occupation, there are other aspects that were relatively little changed. They include a highly centralized administrative structure and the maintenance of formal types of instruction. Thus, the American intervention in Korean education produced many desirable results in terms of American educational perspectives; but in other aspects it did not contribute very much to changing traditional traits of Korean educators. ^