KOREA IN RAPID TRANSITION TOWARD A MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY: CHALLENGES IN PREPARING TEACHERS OF YOUNG CHILDREN
Keywords:multicultural education, teacher education, right to education, Korea
Korea has been a strongly homogeneous country until recently. While the need for teachers who are prepared to address the special needs of diverse learners has never been greater, little is known about the current diversity preparation of the nation’s teachers. This research investigated the current status of multicultural preparation for Korean early childhood educators. Result of this study suggest that out of 240 pre-service and in-service teachers studied, 54% of the participants (n=96) had no experience of taking multicultural related courses in their teacher training. Despite the rapid diversification in classrooms, Korean teacher education seems quite slow in responding to the rapid diversification of classrooms. This study emphasizes the dire need for multicultural education in 21st century Korea. The study also suggests a positive direction for better teacher preparation for multicultural education.