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Introduction

  • Dawn Karen Booth
Chapter
Part of the English Language Education book series (ELED, volume 12)

Abstract

In four decades, South Korea (once referred to as a hermit kingdom) rapidly transformed from a developing agrarian society into the sixth largest exporting country in the world – an economic miracle frequently linked to the rapid growth of a highly competitive workforce driven by a strong zeal for education. Having gained the attention of world leaders, South Korea has become a model for many seeking reform. Barak Obama, for one, lauded Korean fervour for education and stressed the need to reform U.S education and infrastructure to catch up with benchmark countries like South Korea (Chun 2011). In 2015/2016, Korea surpassed countries like Japan and Finland to rank highest in the Social Progress Index – a measurement that includes access to basic knowledge, adult literacy, primary and secondary enrolment, and the number of years that girls are in school. Korea also ranked seventh in reading and mathematics, and eleventh out of 70 countries in the 2015 influential Programme for Internationl Student Assessment (PISA) rankings (OECD 2016).

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dawn Karen Booth
    • 1
  1. 1.AucklandNew Zealand

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