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ERIC Number: EJ1119987
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
Guns, Farms, and Foreign Languages: The Introduction of Western Learning and the First Government Schools in Late Nineteenth-Century Korea
Yuh, Leighanne
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v52 n6 p580-595 2016
Despite the turbulent political circumstances of the 1880s, and notwithstanding opposition from key government officials, this decade witnessed the Korean government's initial attempts to establish educational institutions modelled after western schools--the Royal College (Yugyeong Gongweon), a military academy (Yeonmu Gongweon), and an agricultural experiment station (Nongmu Mokchuk Shiheomjang). These three institutions focused on the English language and general western learning, military training and agricultural technology, and were all influenced by American-style learning and employed American instructors. Rather than depict the introduction of western learning to Korea as an epic battle between orthodox learning (Confucianism) and heterodox learning (western learning) or frame it in terms of tradition and modernity, this article argues that through a conscious and complex process of selection, the adaptation of specific elements of western learning was a pragmatic and manageable move on the part of the Korean government to fulfil the immediate needs of the state. Following the lines of the "Wealthy Country, Strong Army" school of thought, reform intellectuals advocated a practical programme of reform to strengthen the army and build a more robust economy. By examining official documents and primary sources, the role of pragmatism can be seen to underscore the complexity of the implementation of concrete reform. Thus, oversimplified dichotomies of the modern versus traditional cannot accurately depict this period of change.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Korea
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A