Socio-Economic and Political Changes and the Cultural Hybridization of Early Childhood Education and Care since South Korean Independence in 1945

Seonghwan Kim, Mary McMullen
page. 257~278 / 2021 Vol.15 No.2


South Korean ECEC has been transformed by dynamic socio-economic and political changes. In these changes, the Korean culture as it is embedded in ECEC is continuously being retranslated and reshaped in the new, and ever-changing context by means of globalization and from those who travel abroad and bring back new ideas. Previous research is limited in that it fails to connect broader Korean cultural and societal changes to changes in ECEC over time. In this paper we illustrate the history of South Korean from its independence from the Empire of Japan in 1945 to today and identify connections between socio-political and economic benchmarks and changes in South Korean ECEC. In doing this, we consider the nature of the centralized South Korean educational system, the human capital approach, care versus education, and cultural hybridity.

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