Teacher Unions, Social Movements and the Politics of Education in Asia: South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Teacher Unions, Social Movements and the Politics of Education in Asia

South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines, 1st Edition

By John P. Synott


354 pages

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Hardback: 9781138737341
pub: 2017-11-03
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This title was first published in 2003:In the globalizing world, South Korea is widely regarded as a model example of how a school education system can enhance national economic development. Similar claims are made for other Asian NICs such as Taiwan. However, less understood is how the education system in South Korea became a site of intense conflict as, in the decade from 1989-99, a large movement of teachers battled with the government over development-related issues such as democratic reforms and human rights in schooling, in a struggle that divided this education-oriented society and at times plunged the nation’s schools into chaos. This book analyses the emergence of the National Teachers’ Union of Korea, Chunkyojo, and traces its struggle for educational reforms. The book examines the South Korean education system within national and global contexts and the historical experiences that have shaped the modern nation - such as its Confucianist history, its experiences of colonialism and the legacy of the Cold War conflict with North Korea. As South Korea searches for pathways for reunification, economic growth and the consolidation of democratic civil society, important new perspectives on the role of education emerge through this analysis of the teachers’ social movement. This book also presents separate chapters on teacher movements in Taiwan and the Philippines, that provide interesting comparisons to the South Korean case, while revealing the distinctive political and historical experiences that have shaped education in these societies and the emergence of reformist teacher movements. In a valuable appendix, the author discusses methodological and theoretical aspects of the research in this book.


'…a very welcome addition to the thin, almost non-existent literature on teacher unions in Asia.' Globalisation, Societies and Education

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General