Minza Kim Boo

Date of Graduation


Document Type



Demographic, historical, and educational data on Korean ethnic education programs in the United States posed some possible curricular problems concerning such questions as: "How well did Korean ethnic schools define the curricular purposes, organize the curricular content, select the curricular methodology, and practice the evaluation of curricular outcomes?" Thus, the primary purpose of this study was to investigate the current status of Korean ethnic schools in terms of whether the Korean ethnic school curricula used essential curricular principles and guidelines; and whether the Korean ethnic education programs were implemented to respond to multi-dimensional ethnic needs of Korean immigrants. The procedures of this study were guided by the strategy of comprehensive qualitative evaluation research involving three different methods of data collection, i.e., analysis of curriculum-related documents, questionnaire-guided interviews, and classroom observation. The collected curricular data were analyzed nonstatistically but qualitatively using the EPIE curriculum assessment system developed by the Educational Products Information Exchange (EPIE) Institute. This study concluded that the sample Korean ethnic schools did not satisfactorily comply with the essential curricular principles as identified by the EPIE system. However, it was concluded that Korean ethnic education programs had such positive effects as: (a) mastery of basic Korean lingual/cultural skills; (b) improvement of communication between parents and children; (c) development of positive attitude and perception about Korean cultural heritage; (d) realization of ethnic pride and "we-feeling" by making many friends from common cultural backgrounds; and (e) voluntary action to get involved in Korean ethnic activities. This study also concluded that the sample Korean ethnic schools needed some alternative approaches and systematic efforts in order to improve ethnic educational curriculum, because sample subjects had complaints about currently employed curriculum in terms of: (a) insufficient funds to employ qualified teachers on a full-time basis and to solve faculty members' underemployment problem; (b) poor teaching-preparation of teachers who had other commitments to either bread-winning jobs or doctoral work; (c) vocabulary-focused content organization of Korean language classes and boring teaching methods; (d) school calendar and clock for the Saturday/Sunday class that led students to dislike coming to Korean school; and (e) unresolved problem of students' value-conflict/confusion between Koreanism-mainstreaming school and Americanism-mainstreaming school. Nevertheless, this study was led to conclude that Korean ethnic education programs have functioned as remedial measures responding to such sociopsychological ethnic needs as positive ethnic identity, sense of belonging, strong parent-child ties, and integrated ethnic family life; and that Korean ethnic schools played important roles in serving as an equivalent social support system for Korean ethnic families' better adaptation in American society.