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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

David Baral


The purpose of this study was to investigate the nature and function of Korean schools, based on data collected from three schools located in southern California. The study addressed the following questions: (1) What are the characteristics of Korean schools? (2) What are the characteristics of the curriculum? (3) What are the characteristics of the teachers, parents, and students? (4) What are the attitudes of Korean-American children, parents, and teachers toward their Korean schools? (5) What are the similarities and differences among the three schools? The study analyzed data collected from three schools: two in densely populated urban areas and one in a suburban area. The findings are based on a sample of 170 students, 146 parents, 44 teachers, and three principals. Data were collected through interviews, written questionnaires, and classroom observations. The study found that Korean Americans are very interested in helping their children develop and maintain appreciation for the Korean culture and language. While creating a positive Korean identity was given as the primary goal of the Korean school, actual instructional objectives were focused more on teaching the Korean language. Children usually attend Korean schools on Saturday or Sunday. Instructional activities are devoted to Korean language and culture. Instructional methodology tends to be traditional and teacher-centered with whole-class activities predominating. Patents express strong support for the schools but tend not to participate in formal instructional activities. Compared with their children, parents engage more frequently in activities that indicate a positive identification with Korean culture. The parents' dominant language is Korean, while children primarily rely on English. Although children state that learning Korean is important, they often express ambivalent and sometimes negative attitudes toward Korean school, as compared with the positive views held by their parents and teachers.



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