Education policy during covid-19 in South Korea

Published: 11 October 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/db5pp4ptwk.1
hoonhui cho


Policy texts produced by the South Korean government and local educational authorities (LEASs) were analysed in this research. Those policy documents illustrate two types of governing work – i.e., public education management and university admission management. Each of selected document represents an important phase of policy measures and decisions such as adoption of an online semester, nation-wide transition from online to blended education, and forming and enacting emergency plans for managing university admission schedules unchanged. Documentary analysis first focuses on uncovering how policy actors framed the problems they faced. Then it identified the policy solutions proposed, and the technologies mobilised in this period. Third, this analysis was attentive to the attempts made by policy actors and their inter-relations – e.g., building-up alliances, referring to professional knowledge, and appealing to civic virtues. Finally, it sought to synthesise all these steps and their contribution to constituting a governing narrative, by relating the meaning of governing work to the wider webs of meanings in Korean society – in particular, the centrality of education. The online semi-structured interview data collected from policy actors were also used to interrogate the working of the education narrative. In particular, interview data illustrate the ways in which the taken-for-granted conceptions, beliefs, and preferences in the education community were institutionalised and materialised as forms of policies.


Steps to reproduce

Analysts must first identify ‘human artefacts’ (e.g., policy documents, legislative instruments, and acts) which constitute the relevant vehicles of meaning. Second, the ‘interpretive communities’ (or relevant policy communities) sharing thought, speech, practice, and their meanings should be identified. Third, the analyst must identify the ‘relevant discourses’ – the specific meanings being circulated through artefacts and their purposes. Applying these logical steps, the human artefacts relevant to Covid-19 education policy case are categorised as policy documents (e.g., policy plans, recommendations, and press releases), actions (e.g., announcements, briefings, speeches) and white papers. All the artefacts constitute relevant text, the meanings of which require to be analysed.


University of Oxford


Educational Policy