The beginnings of modern education in Korea, 1883-1910


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3 Citations (Scopus)


Korea opened up to foreign intercourse in 1876, when the country concluded its first international treaty with Japan. Similar treaties with European and American nations followed during the 1880s. The period until 1910, when Korea was annexed to the Japanese Empire, saw manifold attempts to reform as well as resistance to these reforms. Against the background of research on the world institutionalisation of education, this contribution analyses the changes that the opening of Korea entailed in the field of education, especially focusing on newly established forms of education. First, modern education was characterised by newly created institutions and curricula. These institutions can be classified according to the actors engaged in their creation, private Korean citizens, foreign missionary actors and the Korean government. Second, new educational discourses and practices characterised modern education in Korea. These new discourses played a central role in negotiating Korean nationalism and in culturally positioning Korea between China and the "West". Bodily practices were radically changed through uniforms, new hairstyles and military drills. A new system of classroom interaction was introduced to Korea. Copyright © 2013 Stichting Paedagogica Historica.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-284
JournalPaedagogica Historica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


Dittrich, K. (2014). The beginnings of modern education in Korea, 1883-1910. Paedagogica Historica, 50(3), 265-284. doi: 10.1080/00309230.2013.839723


  • Korea
  • Enlightenment
  • World institutionalisation of education
  • Cultural transfers
  • Educational practices
  • Physical education
  • Classroom practices

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