Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Mogharreban, Cathy


As a critical unit for identifying family-constructed meanings of education, a deeper contextual understanding of Korean immigrant parents' cultural/ethnic perceptions in relation to educational beliefs should be central to culturally responsive education designed to support Korean immigrant families. It is necessary for educators to examine the beliefs and practices of Korean immigrant families around education in order to broaden the educational conversation and mutual understanding between parents and teachers for effectively facilitating their children's learning and socialization. The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the variations in cultural/ethnic perceptions and educational beliefs about childrearing and early schooling among three Korean parent groups: (a) 79 Korean immigrant parents in the U.S., (b) 98 Korean parents with no transnational experiences outside of the country of origin, Korea, and (c) 42 transnational parents in Korea who have returned from the U.S. to Korea. It examined the relationships between cultural/ethnic factors and Korean parents' educational beliefs about young children's learning and socialization. This study was a mixed methods design. Research findings from the quantitative survey data indicate several significant intracultural variations in cultural/ethnic perceptions and educational beliefs and noteworthy relationships among variables (e.g., between socio-demographic factors and acculturation, between enculturation and educational beliefs, etc.). Probing further through interviews, this study qualitatively explored four Korean immigrant parents' cultural/ethnic experiences with their children's schooling to raise additional questions regarding beliefs, attitudes, and values emerging in daily family lives. The findings indicate that Korean immigrant families encounter dual processes of acculturation and enculturation, that is, integration rather than assimilation, that can be potentially challenging for facilitating their children's learning and socialization. (Cho, Chen, & Shin, 2010; Miyoshi, 2011; Song, 2010). The findings suggest that Korean immigrant families develop particular culture-belief structures derived from experiences of socio-cultural transformations between their own socio-cultural contexts and the mainstream school settings of their children. This study provides a critical foundation for a contextual understanding of Korean immigrant parents' educational beliefs and practices related to early school schooling while being acculturated into the dominant school culture and curriculum. The implications are discussed for culturally responsive education.




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