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Acta Koreana is published semi-annually on June 15 and December 15 by Academia Koreana, Keimyung University.
 
 
Title MORAL EDUCATION, MODERNIZATION IMPERATIVES, AND THE PEOPLE’S ELEMENTARY READER (1895): ACCOMMODATION IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF MODERN EDUCATION IN KOREA
 
Author
LEIGHANNE YUH
Volume Vol. 18 No. 2
Pages pp. 327~355 (all 28 pages)
Publication Date DECEMBER, 2015
Keyword Kungmin sohak tokpon, education, moral education, early modern Korean history, Kabo Reforms, modern textbooks, late nineteenth-century educational reform
Abstract The first modern textbook published by the Chosŏn government, the People’s Elementary Reader (PER), marked a significant departure from traditional learning both in terms of content and form and played a pivotal role in introducing western-style learning. However, an absence of a thorough consideration of the PER’s obvious moral em-phasis provides only a partial picture of the complexity of late nineteenth-century educational reform in Korea. A close examination of the historical context of edu-cational reform and the PER’s publication in comparison with its American and Japanese counterparts demonstrates moral education was a necessary component of modern education and the modernization drive. As the Koreans saw useful parallels with their own Confucian traditions, educational officials replaced western ethics with Confucian moral education. Thus, the preservation of moral cultivation in the textbook along with the introduction of western-style learning was the embodiment of the slogan “Eastern Way, Western Technology” (tongdo sŏgi). This type of accommodationist form of education conformed to modern (at that time) educational trends and facilitated the introduction of western-style learning by appealing to Confucian yangban sensibilities.
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