“The finest ‘bunch’ of children to be found anywhere”: Educating European and American youths in Korea, 1880s-1940s

Klaus DITTRICH

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

This article discusses how European and American communities in Korea organised the education of their own children from the opening of the country to foreign residents in the 1880s until the Second World War. Education serves as a lens to investigate these dominantly bourgeois communities of missionaries, merchants, experts and diplomats in a non-European environment and contributes a fresh perspective to a social history of globalisation. The article distinguishes three educational practices. First, Europeans and Americans practised home schooling when parents or private teachers instructed the children in their Korean home. Secondly, children were sent back to the countries of origin where they went to boarding schools or stayed with relatives or befriended families. Thirdly, special institutions for European and American children emerged in Korea and the neighbouring East Asian countries. A first school for foreign children was established in Pyongyang in 1900. It was followed by Seoul Foreign School, which was founded by an elite of American Protestant missionaries in the Korean capital in 1912. It had a strong Anglo-Saxon outlook and experienced substantial growth over the decades while the teaching staff became increasingly professionalised. Copyright © 2016 Stichting Paedagogica Historica.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-645
JournalPaedagogica Historica
Volume52
Issue number6
Early online dateSep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Citation

Dittrich, K. (2016). “The finest ‘bunch’ of children to be found anywhere”: Educating European and American youths in Korea, 1880s-1940s. Paedagogica Historica, 52(6), 629-645.

Keywords

  • Seoul Foreign School
  • Pyeng Yang Foreign School
  • Education and migration
  • Europeans in East Asia
  • International schooling

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