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Public and Private in South Korea's Education Reform Vocabulary: An Evolving Statist Culture of Education Policy


Ki Su Kim
Faculty of Education,
Memorial University, Canada 
kskim@mun.ca

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Abstract

Statism is a political economy that prevails in many East Asian countries. This paper explores its negative role in South Korea’s education reform since the restoration of civilian democracy in 1993. It takes note of South Koreans’ aberrant use of the terms 'public education' and 'private education' and the frame of reference for policy discourses based thereupon. It then shows how this frame of reference restricts the grasp of structural educational problems and the practical context in which to explore policy measures for what the policy makers pursue, liberalisation and diversification. Finally, it relates the aberrant use of the terms to a statist culture that has evolved through the years of military elite’s developmental policy and continues to determine the scope of discourses in a post-military era. By doing this, the paper seeks to expand the political economy discourses of statism and institutionalism in the field of education.

Political economy of education, statism, institutionalism, private education, public education, education reform, Korea

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 Kim, K.S. (2004) Public and Private in South Korea's Education Reform Vocabulary: An Evolving Statist Culture of Education Policy. International Education Journal, 5 (4), 521-530.
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