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ERIC Number: ED560477
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Pages: 14
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Competency-Based Curriculum and Curriculum Autonomy in the Republic of Korea. IBE Working Papers on Curriculum Issues No. 12
Lee, Keunho
UNESCO International Bureau of Education
The implementation of the national curriculum in the Republic of Korea is ensured through curriculum revisions and the instructions issued by the Ministry of Education. The latter are acts of the Minister of Education that must be enforced in individual schools as stipulated in the regulations of Article 23 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which states that the school is in charge of implementing the curriculum and that the Minister of Education takes decisions concerning curriculum standards and contents. The curriculum autonomy policy was also applied to individual schools in accordance with the above. This can be perceived as a top-down approach where schools are obliged to adhere to and implement policies defined at the central level. Therefore, strictly speaking, rather than allowing teachers to take autonomous decisions concerning the curriculum, these measures make teachers responsible for adhering to autonomy policies and implementing them. In the end, curriculum autonomy appears to be imposed and compulsory, and rather than stimulating innovation and creativity in curriculum implementation, this kind of "forced" autonomy has not produced the expected changes. In many cases teachers and individual schools have tended to simply resort to the previous curriculum. The effective implementation of curriculum autonomy policies at the school level requires teacher engagement and support. For this to happen, the first step is to define policies that are based on the demands and needs of the schools. The Republic of Korea has moved in the direction of curriculum decentralization and deregulation focusing on autonomy policy measures taken at the central level. Such curriculum autonomy policies tend to lack the sense of ownership that teachers need when it comes to translating these policies into school practice. Thus, it is essential to ensure that teachers feel that they have control or ownership over curriculum autonomy policies and are fully convinced that these policies meet the actual demands and needs of the schools. A bibliography is included.
UNESCO International Bureau of Education. C.P. 199, 1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland. Tel: +41-22-917-78-00; Fax: +41-22-917-78-01; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: International Bureau of Education (IBE) (Switzerland)
Identifiers - Location: South Korea