Professionalization and the Reform of Teaching, Teachers, and Teacher Education in the United States and the Republic of Korea: A Critical Discourse Analysis

by Yeom, Minho

Abstract (Summary)
This study compares how the U.S. education and Korean education reform documents conceptualize teaching, teachers, and teacher education and examines how, if any, the discourses of one country influence those of the other. Attention is given especially to the ways in which reform documents incorporate the ideology of professionalism in framing the problems with teaching, teachers, and teacher education and in proposing the remedies for them. Eighteen specific reform documents issued by the two countries governmental and non-governmental organizations at the national level since the 1980s were selected and analyzed by employing critical discourse analysis primarily and interpretative text analysis. Both an inductive and a deductive process were used in order to identify the problems identified, the remedies suggested, and versions of the ideology of professionalism articulated. For a cross-country analysis, a juxtaposition approach was employed to classify the similarities and differences with respect to major themes. The findings show that there exist some continuing global convergences and a rare case for local divergence to construct reform discourses on teaching, teachers, and teacher education. A few major common themes found where examining the problems identified and the remedies suggested in the two countries are: The repetition of the weakness of pre-service teacher education; Perpetuation of the image of the teaching occupation as a profession; Extending the length of pre-service teacher education; Increased control; Contesting the idea of teacher autonomy; Failure of the market oriented compensation system; Questioning of differentiating staffing patterns; and Increasing U.S. influence on the Korean education reform. Overall, the way in which the two countries construct educational reform discourse are similar in terms of drawing explicitly on elements from a functionalist (or trait theory) version of the ideology of professionalism. However, the Korean documents put more emphasis on the autonomy of teachers compared to the U.S. documents, where this issue was less visible. Regarding the direction of influence between the U.S. and Korea, Korea shows a tendency to appropriate ideas and move toward a structure and set of practices evidenced in the U.S. at an earlier period.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:David M. Post; Akiko Hashimoto; Clementina Acedo; Cynthia E. Coburn; Mark B. Ginsburg

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:administrative and policy studies


Date of Publication:05/11/2005

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