Multicultural Theory, Practice, and Pedagogy in South Korea
South Korea has witnessed a major demographic shift as more children of immigrants are entering the schools. Over the course of four months, I visited six elementary schools, graduate schools of education, and conducted interviews with teachers, principals, and district administrators to gain an understanding how multicultural theory, policy and practice were being implemented. I used of four heuristic devices to analyze the implementation of multicultural policy and curriculum at the elementary school level: 1) Serving the needs of children of immigrants, 2) Celebrating cultural differences, 3) Creating multicultural schools, and 4) Striving for a socially just society. The findings indicate that the current policy and practice has led to a deficit thinking model towards children of immigrants and therefore teachers and administrators need critical multicultural theory and praxis based upon a social justice platform. I do not want to be too critical of multicultural education in South Korea as I keep in mind issues of policy transfer, borrowing and lending; however, I believe that the research can have a positive impact upon multicultural education in Korea as well as in other countries that are also witnessing a rapid rise in immigrants and ethnic minorities.
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