Dong Ha Lee

Date of Award


Degree Name

Educational Leadership


College of Education and Professional Development

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

John Andes

Second Advisor

Benjamin Bailey

Third Advisor

Sung Lai Boo

Fourth Advisor

Richard Meckley

Fifth Advisor

H. Edward Lilley


The purpose of this study was to assess the ethnic education of the Korean immigrants’ children and to analyze the operations of the Korean ethnic schools in the United States. Two questions were investigated in this study: (1) What were the ethnic educational needs of the Korean immigrants insofar as the socio-psychological environments of the Korean ethnic schools were concerned? (2) How were the Korean schools being operated to meet such needs?

The literature review and case study method were utilized to answer the research questions. Four schools were selected for the case study in the Eastern United States. The interview and document analysis, a survey method was utilized to present an overview of the Korean schools in the United States.

The review of literature indicated that Korean immigrant parents wanted to retain the traditional Korean values. Also, they saw an improper socialization of their children in the divided language family. The school was not an extension of home for the immigrant children. The children faced stereotypes and discrimination resulting in a negative self-concept. However, certain elements of traditional Korean values contributed to the academic success of the children. Academic success reinforced the self-concept. An ethnic institution was needed both for the maintenance of traditional values and the enhancement of ethnic pride.

There were approximately 127 Korean schools in the United States as of October 1981. Most of them were located in major urban areas. The schools were open either on Saturdays or Sundays.

The goals and objectives of the four selected schools were within the continuum of two types: (1) parent-centered and ideal-ethnocentric and (2) child-centered and pragmatic. Schools heavily emphasized the Korean language in their class schedules. The financial expediency of the self-burden principle prevailed in all four schools, which contrasted with the ideals of the school goals. The schools valued the continuity of employment with their own schools assuming self-improvement of teaching methods. Community relations and extracurricular activities were examined. Recommendations were made for the administrative improvements of the schools.


The University of West Virginia College of Graduate Studies became the WV Graduate College in 1992 and was subsequently merged with Marshall University in 1997.


Schools, Korean – United States.

Korean students – United States.