A multifocal analysis of Korean educational policies on the teaching profession

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Kim, Kyu Tae

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Korean education policies were derived from the 5.31 Education Reform oriented to the increase of autonomy and accountability for school effectiveness and the quality instruction through teacher professionalism enhancement. The policies are related to the influences of historical events and contexts embedded in the interactions of policy players who have their own arguments, particularly professionalism versus managerialism. The policies have been driven by right-wing perspectives. As a result, the roles, powers, functions, and structures of teaching profession have gradually changed. From the structural analysts, Basil Bernstein and Michel Foucault, teaching profession has become a system of supervision, compliance, normalization, isomorphism related to the collection code. The dynamic, complex and multilevel policy implementation need to be analyzed from a multifocal approach coupled with historical institutional, political, and structural analysis. This analysis contributes to understanding the changes of teaching profession resulted from intricate and dynamic interactions embedded in policy environments causing or influencing policy implementation directly and indirectly. Korean educational policy analysts, generally, tend to use one of the institutional, the political, and the structural perspective. Most policy analyses are concerned with the political analysis focused on exploring the political interaction between policy players, presenting policy issues and alternatives, analyzing the new institutionalism of education policy formation and implementation process, and influencing of policies on school organization and teachers apart from the political environment and the political interactions. In this respect, the multifocal policy analysis will be beneficial to shed light on a multifocal analysis of Korean educational policies.



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