Integrating North Korean Refugee Youths into the South Korean Educational System: A Preliminary Needs Assessment

By Hyong Suk Yeom and Thomas P. Ward.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 5, 2015 $US5.00

The purpose of this study is to support North Korean refugee youths’ integration into the South Korean educational system and to help ensure social and educational justice for them. This project is designed to conduct needs assessments, and to develop and execute supportive programs based on the needs assessment. In summer 2014, we visited an accredited alternative school, Yeomyung, in Seoul, South Korea, where North Korean refugee youths strive to learn and adjust to South Korea. We performed a preliminary needs assessment, which mainly involved two extensive focus groups and individual interviews with teachers, the principal, and the vice principal, as well as on-site observations. We found there is a great array of needs among North Korean refugee youths in the South Korean educational system—curricular, social/cultural, psychological, medical, familial, communal, and political. In summer 2015, we plan to complete the needs assessment among students, their parents/guardians, and the dormitory staff.

Keywords: North Korean Refugee Youth, Refugee Education, South Korea, Needs Assessment

The International Journal of Diversity in Education, Volume 16, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.29-41. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 5, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 493.027KB)).

Dr. Hyong Suk Yeom

Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA

Dr. Thomas P. Ward

Former Adjunct Professor, History Department, James Madison University, USA