Comparative Perspectives on East Asia
Edited By Unsuk Han, Takahiro Kondo, Biao Yang and Falk Pingel
Chang, Sei-yoon: The Current History Education Curriculum and the System of Textbook Authorization in Korea
Chang, Sei-yoon The Current History Education Curriculum and the System of Textbook Authorization in Korea 1. The Recent Controversy over History Textbooks in Korea and the Introduction of East Asian History as a School Subject The ideological controversy in Korea that followed a change in government after ten years recently focussed on history textbooks and the history school curriculum.1 Events in China and Japan contributed to stimulating the debate. Korean historians have developed a heightened interest in the East Asian discourse and history textbooks used in East Asian countries.2 Significant changes are under way, with both the government and historians involved in: – The adoption of a new history curriculum. – The compilation of new history textbooks. – The adoption of East Asian History as a school subject. Such initiatives form part of a wider effort to settle the ongoing conflict over the divergent historical perspectives held by the three Northeast Asian countries.3 A tentative plan for the teaching of East Asian history was introduced by a team led by Professor An, Byungwoo (Hanshin University) in 2006.4 In Febru- 1 In Korea, the Democratic Party ruled from February 1998 to February 2008. Presidents Kim, Dae-jung and Roh, Moo-hyun led the ‘progressive’ Korean governments during this period. The Grand National Party came into power in February 2008 with a new (‘conservative’) government led by President Lee, Myung-bak. 2 E.g. Nakamura, Satoru: Dongasia Yeoksa Gyogwaseoneun Eotteoke Sseuyeo Isseulkka [Studies on history textbooks of East Asia], Seoul: 2005 (translated by the Center for In- formation on...
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