Asia Pacific Education Review

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 285–294 | Cite as

National construction of global education: a critical review of the national curriculum standards for South Korean global high schools



In this paper, the authors investigate what global visions of education are reflected in the selected national curriculum standards, with special reference to two seemingly contradictory forces: globalization and nationalism. This paper examines the socio-economic and cultural foundations of the curriculum and explains how the national curriculum for South Korean global high schools symbolically appropriates global education for the purpose of national competitiveness. Our findings show that, although the selected curriculum document alludes to the importance of international understanding and of global citizenship education, its primary objective is to provide students with knowledge and skills for national competitiveness and to uphold, rather than weaken, national identity in reaction to global pressures. This phenomenon is closely linked to the historical background of Koreanized globalization, in which the concept of segyehwa has been used as a catalyst for undertaking global education for the ends of global competiveness and national pride.


Global education National curriculum Globalization Ethnic nationalism Global high schools 


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Copyright information

© Education Research Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationKyung Hee UniversitySeoulKorea

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